How do I remove a file from the FileList

How do I remove a file from the FileList

I’m building a drag-and-drop-to-upload web application using HTML5, and I’m dropping the files onto a div and of course fetching the dataTransfer object, which gives me the FileList.
Now I want to remove some of the files, but I don’t know how, or if it’s even possible.
Preferably I’d like to just delete them from the FileList; I’ve got no use for them. But if that’s not possible, should I instead write in checks in code that interacts with the FileList? That seems cumbersome.


Solution 1:

If you want to delete only several of the selected files: you can’t. The File API Working Draft you linked to contains a note:

The HTMLInputElement interface
[HTML5] has a readonly FileList
attribute, […]
[emphasis mine]

Reading a bit of the HTML 5 Working Draft, I came across the Common input element APIs. It appears you can delete the entire file list by setting the value property of the input object to an empty string, like:

document.getElementById('multifile').value = "";

BTW, the article Using files from web applications might also be of interest.

Solution 2:

This question has already been marked answered, but I’d like to share some information that might help others with using FileList.

It would be convenient to treat a FileList as an array, but methods like sort, shift, pop, and slice don’t work. As others have suggested, you can copy the FileList to an array. However, rather than using a loop, there’s a simple one line solution to handle this conversion.

 // fileDialog.files is a FileList 

 var fileBuffer=[];

 // append the file list to an array
 Array.prototype.push.apply( fileBuffer, fileDialog.files ); // <-- here

 // And now you may manipulated the result as required

 // shift an item off the array
 var file = fileBuffer.shift(0,1);  // <-- works as expected + ", " + file.size + ", " + file.type );

 // sort files by size
 fileBuffer.sort(function(a,b) {
    return a.size > b.size ? 1 : a.size < b.size ? -1 : 0;

Tested OK in FF, Chrome, and IE10+

Solution 3:

If you are targeting evergreen browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, but also works in Safari 9+) or you can afford a polyfill, you can turn the FileList into an array by using Array.from() like this:

let fileArray = Array.from(fileList);

Then it’s easy to handle the array of Files like any other array.

Solution 4:

Since we are in the HTML5 realm, this is my solution. The gist is that you push the files to an Array instead of leaving them in a FileList, then using XHR2, you push the files to a FormData object. Example below.

Node.prototype.replaceWith = function(node)
    this.parentNode.replaceChild(node, this);
if(window.File && window.FileList)
    var topicForm = document.getElementById("yourForm");
    topicForm.fileZone = document.getElementById("fileDropZoneElement");
    topicForm.fileZone.files = new Array();
    topicForm.fileZone.inputWindow = document.createElement("input");
    topicForm.fileZone.inputWindow.setAttribute("type", "file");
    topicForm.fileZone.inputWindow.setAttribute("multiple", "multiple");
    topicForm.onsubmit = function(event)
        var request = new XMLHttpRequest();
            topicForm.ajax.value = "true";
            request.upload.onprogress = function(event)
                var progress = event.loaded.toString() + " bytes transfered.";
                progress = Math.round(event.loaded / * 100).toString() + "%";
                topicForm.fileZone.innerHTML = progress.toString();
            request.onload = function(event)
                response = JSON.parse(request.responseText);
                // Handle the response here.
  , topicForm.getAttribute("action"), true);
            var data = new FormData(topicForm);
            for(var i = 0, file; file = topicForm.fileZone.files[i]; i++)
                data.append("file" + i.toString(), file);
    topicForm.fileZone.firstChild.replaceWith(document.createTextNode("Drop files or click here."));
    var handleFiles = function(files)
        for(var i = 0, file; file = files[i]; i++)
    topicForm.fileZone.ondrop = function(event)
    topicForm.fileZone.inputWindow.onchange = function(event)
    topicForm.fileZone.ondragover = function(event)
    topicForm.fileZone.onclick = function()
    topicForm.fileZone.firstChild.replaceWith(document.createTextNode("It's time to update your browser."));

Solution 5:

I have found very quick & short workaround for this. Tested in many popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari);

First, you have to convert FileList to an Array

var newFileList = Array.from(;

to delete the particular element use this


Solution 6:

I know this is an old question but it’s ranking high on search engines in regards to this issue.

properties in the FileList object cannot be deleted but at least on Firefox they can be changed. My workaround this issue was to add a property IsValid=true to those files that passed check and IsValid=false to those that didn’t.

then I just loop through the list to make sure that only the properties with IsValid=true are added to FormData.