Is there a way to delete attached files (e.g. PDFs) within Zotero?

Occasionally I need to delete a file from my library. Often it's because I want to replace it with an updated version without deleting the parent item (e.g. a preprint that has a new version and I just don't need to keep the entire history). When I delete the attachment in Zotero, the file itself persists in my local library, so I have to go to the file manager to manually delete the file. Is there a way to delete the attachment in Zotero and have the file be deleted at the same time?

For that matter, I'm pretty sure there are orphaned PDFs scattered throughout my library from parent items that have been deleted in Zotero. Is there a way to automatically clean up the library?
  • If your files are stored in Zotero (i.e. the default), Zotero deletes them once you empty your Zotero trash. If you use linked attachments, then no, that's not possible.
  • edited May 6, 2022
    There is a zotero addon that could remove linked attachment(s) when delete the item(s) or collection (, however, the linked files could not be restored, they will be removed directly from the local disk permanently, please backup before removing.
  • @adamsmith That clears it up. I have my library set up to use linked attachments organized in a Linked Attachment Base Directory, so that I can find files outside of Zotero.

    @johnmy Thanks for the pointer. I'll check that out.
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