How to Remove Shared Files in Google Drive

Gone are the days of passing around USB sticks, or battling with attachment limits in email. With Google Drive’s sharing features, colleagues can access files directly from your Google drive by simply clicking a link.

Google Drive even keeps track of which files / folders have been shared with you. While this feature is nice, it can get a little out of hand over time. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to remove shared files / folders in Google Drive that you no longer need access to.

What happens when you delete a file that’s been shared with you?

Deleting a file that has been shared with you simply removes the “link” to that file for only you. It’s like deleting a shortcut icon on your desktop. Accessing the file again will add it back to the “Shared with me” section in Google Drive.

If you are the owner of the shared file, and are sharing it with other people, deleting the file will delete it from your drive entirely. Anyone you’ve shared the file with will no longer be able to access it. It’s better to make someone else the owner of the file before deleting it from your Google Drive.

How to Delete “Shared with me” Files in Google Drive

Desktop

Open drive.google.com in your favorite web browser and sign into your account.

Click Shared with me in the menu at the left and locate the shared file / folder you wish to remove.

Google Drive Shared with me in Menu

Right click the file / folder and select Remove.

Google Drive Shared Folder Right Click Menu with Remove Highlighted

Mobile

Open the Google Drive app on your Android or iPhone.

Tap the Shared icon at the bottom of the app and locate the shared file you wish to remove.

Google Drive Mobile App Shared Icon

Tap the 3 dots below the file / folder and select Remove near the bottom of the menu that appears.

Google Drive Mobile App Remove Option in Ellipsis Menu

In the confirmation box, tap Remove.

How to Remove Yourself from a Shared File

Desktop

Open drive.google.com in your favorite web browser and sign into your account.

Click Shared with me in the menu at the left and locate the shared file / folder you wish to remove.

Google Drive Shared with me in Menu

Right click the file / folder and select Share.

Google Drive Shared Folder Right Click Menu with Share Highlighted

In the window that appears, click the Dropdown arrow next your your name and select Remove.

Google Drive Share Screen with Dropdown Menu on Self open and Remove Highlighted

Mobile

Open the Google Drive app on your Android or iPhone.

Tap the Shared icon at the bottom of the app and locate the shared file you wish to remove.

Google Drive Mobile App Shared Icon

Tap the 3 dots below the file / folder and select Share at the top of the menu that appears.

Google Drive Mobile App Share Option in Ellipsis Menu

Below Who has access tap one of the profile pictures.

Google Drive Mobile App Profile Pictures Under Who has Access in Share Screen

In the Who has access menu, tap your name and then select Remove at the bottom.

Google Drive User Name in Shared Screen with Menu Open and Remove Highlighted

Final Thoughts

Removing shared files from Google Drive is easy, but it probably won’t free up a lot of space. If you’re cleaning up your Google Drive, check out this article on how to sort your drive by size and remove the largest files.

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