Can't delete files shared in Chat

Not applicable

I shared a word doc with one of my colleagues by uploading it to the Files tab in our chat. I later made an update to the file, but was working off of the local version of my file rather than the one already saved in the Teams chat. I uploaded the updated local file and fully expected to see a dialog informing me that a file with that name already existed and asking if I wanted to overwrite it.


But instead, the Files tab in our chat now has two files with the same file name. Weird, but I figured I'd delete the older file. Yet for some reason, there seems to be no way to delete a file from a Chat in the same way that you can with files saved as part of a channel.


Anybody have any insight into this strangeness?

31 Replies
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)
Wow - ok, I just figured it out, but it is NOT intuitive at all. When you share a file, a message is automatically generated informing the other person that the file has been shared. Apparently, in order to delete the file, you have to delete the message - if you click on the ellipsis next to the file itself (in the conversation or in Files), there is no delete option. Click on the ellipsis next to the "Shared a file" message and you can delete - but it's not at all obvious that this actually deletes the file or just the message about the file. When I went back to the Files tab, I noticed that the file was, in fact, gone. I strongly recommend that Microsoft change this interaction. Not discoverable and certainly didn't match my expectations.

If you have access you can delete the chat with the post, it's the .... above the file ... option.  Have to hover over to see it. 


deletefile chat.JPG

Hmmm. Not shooting the messenger(s) here, but that doesn't really help me. It's confusing having a bunch of same-named files that were created for various reasons, so I wanted to delete some to avoid working from the wrong document. But, I don't want to delete the chat record. I still need to refer back to some things that were said in it, that included the file attachment. Guess I'll just have to choose the lesser of two evils, and live with a bunch of files with the same name, or delete a chat. Chalk this one up as a feature request.

Thanks for sharing! This helped me figure out how to delete a file from a group chat.

Those files are stored in your OneDrive in the 'Microsoft Teams chat files' folder.

  • If you delete the file directly from that folder, it will still show in the 'Files' tab of the chat. However if you try to open it, you'll get an error message.
  • If you delete the file with the ellipsis next to the "Shared a file", the file is not deleted from the 'Microsoft Teams chat files' folder.

I agree that this mechanism should be improved.

Thanks! This matched my situation exactly and worked perfectly!

Hmmm. I followed your instructions, exactly, and yet the files still exist in the chat files folder. Thanks, though. They really need to clean up this process.

Thank you for sharing this one. I was running into the exact same problem and never expected deleting a shared file to work this way.


PLEASE allow deleting files right in the "files"-tab. The corresponding message could then be optionally deleted or left with a disabled link instead.

2 years after the first post and it is exactly the same.  Teams could be so good if only....

If you delete the message where you posted the file, it seems to remove the file. 

@LoopanatorYes I saw that.  However it doesn't help a whole lot when I have to scroll for 2 miles and hundreds of messages looking for a specific post with the upload on it.

Agreed - not a fan of it either...

You can only delete the files that you share. If someone shares something with you, you cannot delete the file from the chat.


You can perform a file delete by going to the message showing the file shared, click on the ellipsis beside the reaction emojis and delete.


Makes sense but annoying.

Note:  The owner of the conversation has to be the one to delete it


To quickly find the messages you sent with attachment and avoid scrolling for miles, go to the search bar at the top and type in 'From: (your name)'... to the left will show all your messages you sent in the chat... you can also use 'More filters' and click the box for 'with attachment'... from there you can easily go through and delete... still can't delete other's files, but send those instructions out to everyone on the chat to clean up your files tab...




I clicked on the elipsis in both the files and the actual chat where I shared the files.  A "delete" option is not there.  Any other ideas?



@Teri_Moneymaker You have to hover over the message and click the message context menu + ellipses. Hovering over the file will show file context menu which has very similar options and ellipses... but does not have option to delete.


SUPER UNINTUITIVE and not discoverable.

@Loopanatorit works just fine and straightforward

The file will still be in OneDrive whether or not it is deleted from Teams chat, I deleted the message from chat, went to OneDrive in the Teams left hand bar and the file is still there, easy click on the dots and the delete option appears.