Delete Files from Filesystem - "Remove & Delete (from file system)"

It would be very helpful to have the possibility to delete clips directly from Shotcut.

Use case: I normally add the new clips to screen them there if they are of good quality. If not, I remove them, but I also have then to search for them in my folders (the clips are distributed to several ones on a NAS) and delete them there. It would speed up my workflow tremendously being able to delete them in Shotcut from the file system.

UI proposal: right click on a clip (in the playlist) “Remove & Delete (from file system)”

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I understand this suggestion and might even use it myself. But I am terrified of the desperate support requests we will get from users on this forum who clicked it accidentally with no way to restore the deleted files. I think that, in general, this is not a best practice. My workflow is to keep absolutely all files on the filesystem until the project is completely finished with no possibility of needing to make another change. This helps me avoid future regret of deleting something that could have been useful in the future.

If you are very confident in deleting your files before your project is complete, you could use the “Show in Folder” action in the properties panel menu and then press delete when Windows explorer opens with your file selected.


I would love to have a feature like this. It would make file management a little easier during the earlier stages of editing.

I’d also like to vote for this suggestion, make it not very easy to get to (in that menu with the show in folder could be a good place) and it would be very useful especially as shotcut holds file locks until app close (is this still true? haven’t tested it recently as I just gave up on deleting on the fly) so it’s impossible to just preview it inside, decide it’s not good video and immediately delete it.

Very close to this I’d also like a way to rename the original file and live update/replace it in shotcut - but I guess this just speaks more of my organizational workflow and less of what a video editor should do.

Like @brian, this idea terrifies me for many reasons. For example, DaVinci Resolve lets users delete files, and notice all the anguish and wailing it created in the Blackmagic forum. All the professionals were unanimous that permanent deletion of files is a dangerous feature that should be removed from Resolve. This is compounded by the large number of users that don’t have reliable and tested backups in place before they delete files.

I think there’s another way to accomplish the OP’s goal. What does everyone think of the following alternative?

Shotcut has “project management features” on the roadmap. What if one of those features was the concept of an Unused Media folder? A user could ask Shotcut to scan the project’s .mlt file, scan the project folder, then compare them. Any unreferenced files in the project folder would get moved to the Unused Media folder. The advantage here is that Shotcut is not actually deleting any files, which makes media recovery possible. It also means that nobody can get on the forum and complain about Shotcut corrupting or deleting their files. Shotcut would continue to have no code that deletes files, thus ruling it out as a culprit. At that point, if the user wants to reclaim space, they can delete the Unused Media folder without fear of breaking their project.

I think some forum users created third-party programs of their own to do this task, so this is not an original idea by any means. But it has yet to be integrated into Shotcut. @Elusien, was it you that wrote a program that showed used and unused files in a project?

The DaVinci stories sound terrible. When I was thinking of deleting the files I was thinking of moving the files to the system trash/recycle bin, similar to your proposal to move files to the “Unused files” folder. I like your idea better though.

Shotcut is my only serious NLE so I don’t know how other video editors handle file management if at all. I only know Blender which embeds the source files into the project file which means the project file isn’t really dependent on the external source files anymore once they are imported.

Good idea for people working with the project folder. Unfortunately that won’t work for me, since I don’t use the project folder. Instead I get the clips from different folders of my NAS.

The “Show in Folder” does work, yes, but that takes much more steps.

You know what… I changed my mind. Apparently general public can’t… read… the warning is very clear about permanently deleting from drive yet there’s going to be people that just blindly click confirm…

I still think a deeply burrowed option would be fine (right? right?!) but for safety… I guess don’t add a solution in search for problems (and also if it’s so deeply hidden it’s just faster to manually delete it in a file explorer).

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I’ve been one of those people a few times. And despite having more than 20 years of experience using computers, I’m sure it will happen again. So I’m also a bit frightened by the idea of having this delete feature in Shotcut.


I also think that the older we get, the more likely it is to happen again, alas! Sometimes the finger on the click goes faster than the brain… :frowning_face:

Absolutely, having the ability to delete clips directly from Shotcut would indeed be a valuable feature, particularly for streamlining workflow efficiency. Your proposed UI enhancement of adding a “Remove & Delete (from file system)” option upon right-clicking a clip in the playlist seems intuitive and practical. This would save users the hassle of manually locating and deleting unwanted clips from their file systems, especially when dealing with multiple folders or networked storage setups like a NAS. Implementing such a feature would undoubtedly enhance the user experience and boost productivity for Shotcut users.

Yeah no thanks, without the horror stories I just wouldn’t want that risk myself. Plus storage is cheap enough that clean up can wait until after the project is done, done & done.

If this was ever implemented I’d want to be able to turn it off incase of tired eyed midnight editing mistakes!