Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Deleting the Open Document File.

Deleting the Open Document File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2016)

2

Periodically, I go through the files in my Word directories to determine if any of the old documents can be safely deleted. Many times, I need to open the file to examine it before I can make a determination as to whether it should be deleted.

Of course, Word will let you delete a file listed in the Open or Save dialog boxes, but it will not delete the active document—the one that is open at the current time. Rather than close the active document and then delete it by opening the Open or Save dialog boxes, I use the following macro to delete a file that is open.

Sub DeleteThisFile()
    Dim MyFile As String

    MyFile = ActiveDocument.Path & "\" & ActiveDocument.Name
    If MsgBox(MyFile & " will be deleted permanently", _
      vbYesNo, "Delete this File?") = vbYes Then
        ActiveDocument.Close (wdDoNotSaveChanges)
        Kill MyFile
    End If
End Sub

The macro prompts you to make sure that you want to delete the file, and (if you do) it closes the document without saving and then deletes it. You should note that the file does not go to the Recycle Bin, but is immediately deleted.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11642) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting the Open Document File.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding a Box Around Selected Text

You can use a special field to put a box around text within a paragraph.

Discover More

Inserting a Sound File in Your Document

Got an audio file you want to insert in your document? It's easy to do when you use the Object dialog box, as described ...

Discover More

Conditional Formats that Distinguish Blanks and Zeroes

Conditional formatting is a great tool. You may need to use this tool to tell the difference between cells that are empty ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Opening Multiple Documents at Once

Word's Open dialog box provides many of the same file management functions as Windows Explorer does. One of the functions ...

Discover More

Changing the Default Document Format

If you don't want Word to store documents using its default document format, it is an easy task to specify a different ...

Discover More

Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist

Managing large numbers of documents in Word can lead to some interesting challenges. One potential challenge is that your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2017-07-18 12:21:41

Awill

This is the same script as the macro given for earlier versions of Word so I'm not sure why they are listed differently. Also, this does not delete the document from my drive. Could this be specific to Word 2013?


2015-11-05 06:17:37

Mark

Brilliant - just what I needed

Thankyou


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.