I'm learning English. I have a question.

What is word appropriate remove or delete?

  • I'm deleting the data
  • I'm removing the data

What's a difference?

3 Answers 3


They can often function the same, but "remove" is broad, whereas "delete" is typically used in reference to computer data.

If you are talking with your colleagues about not including a chart in the next paper you are releasing, you are discussing "removing" the data. But if you sit down and hit the "backspace" key to actually erase the information, you are "deleting" it.


I disagree somewhat with the other answers implying that one of the terms is used in computer-related matters, whereas the other less frequently so. In fact, I claim that both are used equally much to denote discrimination between two ways of managing data in DB and data in GUI.

  • removed - the object is existing but not shown
  • deleted - the object is not existing, hence not shown

The phenomenon occurs due to the duality of the concept of existence. A record can be kept in the database but marked as inactive or retired. Then, it won't be shown in the graphic user interface. The perception is that it's not there but it is. Just not on display.

Think of it as a phone book favorites, being a subset of all your contacts. You can get rid of one of the favorites in two ways. Making it not-favorite makes it disappear from the list of favorites (you tamper with the display). Erasing it from the contacts makes it disappear from the list of favorites too (but you tampered with the data set and by extension with the display).

Internet says: "Delete and remove are defined quite similarly, but the main difference between them is that delete means erase (i.e. rendered nonexistent or nonrecoverable), while remove connotes take away and set aside (but kept in existence)."


I could delete you or remove you from my contacts, but delete is generally used for technology and remove is used for other things.

You cannot delete a student protester from the rally. You can have the student removed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .