Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Deleting the Open Document File.

Deleting the Open Document File

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 16, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


5

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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1346) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

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Comments

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What is five less than 5?

2021-06-02 05:00:42

Maros

Hi. It does not work.
If you close the file, script does not continue and it does not delete (kill) itself!


2019-06-25 10:05:52

p

Thank you, how to add command to close word application too?


2018-08-18 10:44:19

Manuel

Is it possible to delete by sending it to the recyble bib?


2015-06-22 03:39:13

verdun lowe

I wish to delete some documents from word 97 but I am uncertain how to do this I wish to leave no trace of these documents on the Computer


2015-04-10 15:32:45

JOHN FINNERTY

HI!!

I WANT TO DELETE TWO DOCUMENTS THAT I NO LONG WANT IN MY MICROSOFT WORD 2000 PROGRAM.

PLEASE "CALL" ME AT 631-334-4021 AND WALK ME THROUGH IT.

THANK YOU.

JOHN FINNERTY


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