How to Delete a Document in Word for Office 365

Deleting a document in Word for Office 365 is easy. You can remove it from the recent list or delete it permanently using the File tab inside the document or through File Explorer. Always backup important documents and double-check before deletion.

Ah, Office 365’s Word – it’s like that cozy old sweater you can’t part with. Simple enough to use, but sometimes, we need a bit of guidance, especially when we’re trying to do something new, right? Ever wondered how to delete a document there? Let’s unravel the mystery together.

First Things First: Open Word

You’re probably nodding, thinking, “Duh!” But, believe me, sometimes the simplest things can be the most elusive. Just launch the Word app and you’re off to a great start!

Related: How to Enable Track Changes in Microsoft Word

The Main Screen: Your Go-To Place

Have you noticed that welcoming screen when you open Word? It’s not just for good looks! This is where you find all your recent documents.

Deleting from the Recent List

  1. Spot the Document: Scan the list and find the one you want to remove.
  2. Right Click Magic: Hover over the document title, right-click, and choose ‘Remove from list’. Voila! Remember though, this doesn’t delete the file, it just removes it from this view.

But What if You Want to Delete the Document for Good?

Sometimes we just want to get rid of things. Out with the old and in with the new, as they say!

From Inside the Document

  1. Open It Up: Click on the document to open it.
  2. File Tab Fun: Head over to the ‘File’ tab.
  3. The Great Find: Navigate to the location on your computer where the file is saved.
  4. Right Click and Delete: Yep, it’s as simple as it sounds!

Using File Explorer

Not inside Word? No problem! There’s another hero in town – the File Explorer.

  1. Launch File Explorer: You can find it in the taskbar or by searching for it.
  2. Navigate: Go to the location where your Word document is saved.
  3. Delete Away: Right-click on the document and select ‘Delete’.

Additional Information

  • Backup: Before deleting any document, always ensure you’ve backed it up. Ever heard the saying, “Better safe than sorry”? That applies here.
  • Recycle Bin Recovery: Accidentally deleted a document? Check your Recycle Bin. It might just be waiting for you there, ready for a reunion.
  • Permanent Deletion: Want it gone forever? After deleting, empty your Recycle Bin too.

Pros of Deleting Documents

  1. Free Up Space: Less clutter means more space for new things.
  2. Better Organization: Only keep what’s important.
  3. Peace of Mind: There’s something soothing about cleaning up, isn’t there?

Cons of Deleting Documents

  1. Accidental Loss: Oops moments can happen. Make sure it’s the right document!
  2. No Going Back: Once it’s gone and your Recycle Bin’s emptied, it’s goodbye for good.
  3. Potential Data Loss: If it had crucial information, well, I hope you remembered it!

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it! Deleting a document in Word for Office 365 is a breeze once you know the steps. And remember, always double-check before hitting that delete button. Safety first!


  1. Can I recover a document after deleting it from the Recycle Bin?
    • It’s tricky, but there are specialized software tools that might help. Still, no guarantees.
  2. Is there a shortcut to delete documents?
    • Yes, after selecting the file, you can press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.
  3. I removed a document from the recent list, but it’s still on my computer. Why?
    • Removing from the recent list doesn’t delete the file, it just removes its reference from that view.
  4. How do I permanently delete a file without sending it to the Recycle Bin?
    • Hold ‘Shift’ and press ‘Delete’. It bypasses the Recycle Bin.
  5. Do deleted documents leave any traces behind?
    • There could be temporary files or metadata left. For complete removal, you might need specialized software.