Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2018)
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, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting the Open Document File.
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