Frequently Asked Questions About Deleting & Replacing Files

Created by Steph Bradley, Modified on Wed, 20 Sep 2017 at 01:22 PM by Heather King

Here are frequently asked questions about deleting and replacing files on your site. You may also be interested in learning more about the relationship between files and posts and access controlling content.

1. When I remove a file from the “file attachment” field of a post, why does it still appear in search?

  • If your file is still appearing in site search: Although it's been deleted from the currently published revision of the post, it still exists on your site in a previous, archived revision of the post. You can check to see if a file is being used elsewhere in the system by following these steps:

    • Go to Commands > Manage Content and click Manage Files tab on top.

    • Type the file name into the "Filter Files" field.

    • The search should return a list of posts where the file is still being used.

    • If you click on the post title and see that it's not being used in the current revision, you'll know that it's being used in a past revision, which has been archived and therefore still accessible through search. 

    • To delete a file permanently from the site, you have to delete it from all post revisions (current and archived). 

  • If your file is still appearing in Google search: We don’t have access to change Google search results. However, if you’ve successfully deleted the file and the link goes to a 404 Error: Page Not Found, Google’s search algorithm will eventually mark it as irrelevant content and no longer display it. If you don’t want the link to go to an Error page on your site, we recommend instead replacing the file (while removing it from the current revision) with a PDF that says "This document is no longer available.” Eventually, the document will lose its relevancy and most likely will no longer show up in google search results. We don’t have the ability to determine how long either of these processes take.

    • If you use Google Search Console (formerly Google webmaster tools) you can add the Remove URLs tool, which enables you to temporarily block pages from Google Search results on sites that you own. Learn more here.

2. Why do I only have access to “Replace” a file from the Manage Files page, and not delete it?

  • Replacing file attachments is a useful tool that can be used in many cases that aren’t necessarily related to deleting a file. To learn more about Replacing File Attachments or refer to Question 1 above to learn where to go to delete a file.

3. I “permanently deleted” a post with a file that I no longer want to appear, why is there still a link to it in Google search?

  • Your file may still be referenced and appearing in other posts or archived revisions of posts. Refer to Question 2 above to learn more about files that still appear in search.

4. How do I add additional protection to my file before uploading it to the website?

  • Adobe Acrobat allows you to add passwords and file permissions to PDFs. Learn more here.

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