How to Delete Files or Folders in Windows 8.1

By Peter Weverka, Mark Justice Hinton

In Windows 8.1, you can delete any of your files or folders that you no longer need. (Don’t delete files in the Windows or Program Files folders.)

  1. For this exercise, select the Documents folder in File Explorer. Then select one your files.

  2. On the Home tab, select the X on the Delete button.

    The keyboard shortcut to delete the selected file is the Delete key (surprise!).

  3. By default, Windows does not provide a confirmation message — your file is gone with a click.

    A hundred files can be deleted as easily.

  4. Select the bottom third of the Delete button to display the drop-down list shown.


  5. Select Show Recycle Confirmation.

  6. Select another file, and then select the X on the Delete button.

    The Delete File confirmation window appears.

  7. Select Yes to delete the file or No to cancel the operation.

    If the confirmation window seems unnecessary to you, repeat Step 3 to turn off the message.

    You can permanently delete a file, in which case it will not be in the Recycle Bin. Select the file, select the bottom of the Delete button, and then select the Permanently Delete option.