How to delete movies from your library without deleting files on Plex

Can you delete movies from your Plex Library but keep the files in your media server? Yes, you can. We’ll show you how to do it.

You can simply remove any movie from your Plex library if you don’t want it to appear on the movies list. But sometimes, the procedure can get confusing, and you might end up deleting the file from your device when you really just wanted to delete it from your Plex library.

There are two ways to remove media from Plex without deleting the actual files. The first method involved deleting the specific item in the Plex app. The other involves removing the entire collection from the library.

We’ll explain how each of these methods works.

1. Deleting a movie using the Plex app

You have probably used this method but, nevertheless, found your files deleted. The reason is you didn’t disable a crucial setting that prevents the app from deleting your files whenever you remove them from the library.

Follow these steps to enable it:

  • Go to Settings on your Plex app.
  • Navigate to and click on Server and then Library.
Library in Plex Settings
Library in Plex Settings. Image: StreamDiag
  • Scroll through the list of options to find Allow media deletion.
Media deletion Plex
Allow media deletion on Plex. Image: StreamDiag
  • Deselect the box if it is checked.
SEE ALSO:  15 best Plex channels that work in 2024

You can now proceed to delete items from your Plex library without losing the downloaded files

2. Deleting an entire collection

When you remove a collection from the Plex library, it means that you are removing the collection, together with any stored information that comes with it.

For this reason, make sure to back up any data that you may still want to keep before you carry on with the steps we are about to go over. If you want to get rid of everything, skip the backup.

Follow these steps:

  • Open Settings on Plex (the image of a spanner).
  • Make sure to select the correct Plex Media Server.
  • Under the Manage section, click Libraries.
Libraries Plex Media Server
Libraries in Plex Settings. Image: StreamDiag
  • Hover your cursor over the collection you want to get rid of. A menu will appear, denoted by three horizontal dots at the top corner.
  • Click on the three dots, and from the drop-down list, select Delete. You should see a prompt asking you to confirm this action.
  • Click on the box alongside the message that reads Yes, delete the library (name) to check it, and then click the red Delete button again.
Delete Library Plex
How to delete the library in Plex. Image: StreamDiag

If you change your mind or discover that you selected the wrong collection, quickly click on the grey Cancel button before the process is complete because once the item has been deleted, it is irreversible. You add it to your library again.

SEE ALSO:  Fix Plex error: There was a problem playing this item

When you delete an entire collection, your device files are not usually affected. It only happens when you delete individual movies.

When you delete media from your Plex library, the cache files are still stored on your Plex server and continue to take up space, reducing the general performance of your app.

For this reason, it is not enough to just delete from the library. You need to take the extra step to empty the server trash, which you can do using the Plex app.

More Guides

Photo of author
About the Author
Walter Allen
Streaming Media expert and technology writer. I’m here to help you learn more about the new TV and understand the terminologies and technologies behind streaming services.

Leave a Comment