How to Smoothly Remove Classes in Google Classroom

Key Takeaways:

  • Archiving classes is the best way to remove them from view while preserving class data
  • Deleting classes permanently erases all class content and should only be done if absolutely necessary
  • Unenrolling students can help clean up class rosters but doesn’t remove the class itself

As an experienced Google Classroom user and technology integration specialist, I’ve helped many teachers manage their virtual classrooms over the years. One common question that comes up, especially at the end of a school year or semester, is how to remove old classes to keep Google Classroom organized. In this article, I’ll walk through the best practices for smoothly removing classes you no longer need.

Archiving Classes: The Recommended Approach

When a class is finished, the best way to remove it from view is by archiving it. Archiving a class does the following:

  • Removes the class from your main Classroom homepage, decluttering your view
  • Preserves all class content, including student work, posts, and assignments
  • Allows you and your students to still access the archived class if needed
  • Lets you restore the class in the future if you want to reuse any of the content

To archive a class:

  1. Go to and find the class card for the class you want to archive
  2. Click the three-dot menu in the top right of the class card
  3. Select “Archive”
  4. Confirm by clicking “Archive” again in the pop-up window

The class will now be moved to the “Archived Classes” area, accessible from the menu. It’s important to note that students cannot unenroll themselves from archived classes. So if you have students who like to manage their own Classroom accounts, you may want to unenroll them first before archiving.

Deleting Classes: Use Caution

In contrast to archiving, deleting a class permanently removes it and all the associated content. Deleted classes cannot be restored. Students will no longer have access to any assignments, material, or Drive folders from the deleted class.

Because of this, you should only delete a class if you are absolutely certain you will never need the content again. Some teachers may choose to delete classes for privacy reasons, to prevent students from accessing old material. But in most cases, archiving is sufficient and much safer.

Only the primary teacher of a class has the ability to delete it. To delete a class:

  1. First archive the class using the steps above
  2. Go to the “Archived Classes” page from the menu
  3. Click the three-dot menu and select “Delete”
  4. Carefully read the warning prompt and confirm

I strongly recommend exporting a copy of the class grades before deleting, just in case. You can do this from the “Grades” page.

Managing Student Enrollment

Separate from archiving or deleting the class itself, you may want to remove students from a class to clean up your rosters. Unenrolling students can be helpful if you plan to reuse a class with a new group. Students can unenroll themselves, unless the class has already been archived.

To unenroll students:

  • Go to the “People” page for the class
  • Check the box next to the students you want to remove
  • Click the “Actions” button and select “Remove”

Keep in mind this doesn’t delete the class or affect the class content at all. It simply removes those students’ access. They will still retain any files or work in their own Google Drives.

Cleaning Up Your Drive

Speaking of Drive, it’s also a good idea to do some housekeeping there after removing Classroom classes. Each class has its own folder within your “Classroom” folder in Drive. You can go through and decide if you want to move any files out before deleting the class folders.

However, do not delete the main “Classroom” folder in Drive. This can cause synchronization issues. Leave the main folder and just clean up the subfolders if desired.

Timing Considerations

As a final tip, I recommend waiting until a few weeks after the class has ended to archive or delete it. This gives students a chance to download any files they need. It also allows you to ensure all final grades have been entered.

Once you’ve ensured everything is finalized, go ahead and archive those old classes to start fresh. With a new semester comes a clean Classroom!

By following these best practices for removing old classes, you can keep your Google Classroom experience smooth and organized for both you and your students. Remember, archiving is almost always better than deleting. Take the time to clean up on a regular basis and you’ll thank yourself later.