Deleting a file

Learn how to replace or unpublish a file.

Summary

While you can't delete files, you can make sure they aren't accessible by the public. If a document needs to be updated, you can replace the old version with the newer version. We recommend replacing files whenever possible because it works similarly to how redirecting HTML pages works.

The updated file will retain all of the search engine rankings the old file had, plus any links to the old file will take visitors to the new version (if you've linked to your files properly).

You can also unpublish a file. This can be handy for when you're drafting content that isn't quite ready to go live or if a document is no longer relevant.

Removing files from Mass.gov

There are 2 ways you can remove a file from the constituent-facing side of Mass.gov:

Replace the file (useful if you have a more up-to-date version)

From the All Documents menu:

1. Find the document in the “All Documents” menu.

2. Click the “edit” button on the right.

3. Scroll to the file field.

4. Replace the file. You’ll see a pop-up message confirming the file will be removed.

5. Scroll to the bottom and click save.

Unpublish the file

From the All Documents menu:

  1. Find the file in the “All Documents” menu.

  2. Select the file by checking the box to the left of the file.

  3. Select “Unpublish media” from the Action drop-down menu.

  4. Click the "Apply to Selected Items" button under the Action drop-down menu.

From the document editor:

  1. Find the file in the “All Documents” menu.

  2. Click the “edit” button on the right.

  3. Scroll to the Change to: drop-down menu at the bottom of the page.

  4. Choose Unpublished and click save.

Reminder: If you unpublish a file make sure you use Pages Linking Here to ensure it’s not linked to any content.

Permanently deleting a file

If you need an unpublished file permanently deleted, please submit a ServiceNow request.

Note: Please make sure the file is unpublished and has been moved to the Trash before submitting a ServiceNow request.

Make sure to include the following in your request:

  • File name/title

  • Node ID

  • File URL

If you're requesting a large number of files to be deleted, here are some tips on streamlining the process:

  • Make a spreadsheet of the files you want deleted that includes the file's title, node ID, and URL

  • Include no more than 50 files in a single request. If you need more than 50 files deleted, please repeat the process as necessary.

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