List or delete hidden files from command prompt(CMD)

by admin on September 2, 2010

In Windows, files/folders have a special attribute called hidden attribute. By setting this attribute, we can hide files from being displayed in explorer or command prompt. This article explains how to list this hidden files in windows command line and it also discusses how to delete the hidden files.

To get the list of hidden files from a directory you can run the below command.

dir directory_path /A:H /B


Get the list of hidden files from C:\Windows\system32 folder.

C:\>dir c:\WINDOWS\system32 /A:H /B

To get the list of hidden files from all sub directories we need to add /S switch to the command.

dir directory_path /A:H /S /B

To get the list of hidden files from the folder c:\windows\system32 and from all its subfolders we need to run the below command.

dir c:\WINDOWS\system32 /A:H /B /S

List all hidden folders:

If you want to get the list of all hidden subfolders in a folder, you can run the below command.

dir /s /b /A:DH

Hidden files deletion

To delete hidden files from command prompt we can use Del command. For example to delete a hidden file named example.doc we need to run the below command.

del /A:H example.doc

Note that /A:H is necessary otherwise you will get ‘file not found’ error like below.

C:\>del example.doc
Could Not Find C:\example.doc

To delete all hidden files from a given directory we can run the below command.

del directory_path /A:H

Alternatively you can cd to that directory and then run the below command.

del * /A:H

To delete hidden files from subfolders also you can do that by adding /S switch

del * /A:H /S

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

diego December 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

is it possible to remove a list of hidden folders? for example, i want to remove all hidden folders and their content..


admin December 30, 2011 at 11:47 am

If you have the list of hidden folders, then you can delete them all by the following command.
rmdir /s /q hiddenfolder1 hiddenfolder2 hiddenfolder3 .....

If you want to delete all hidden subfolders from a drive/folder then you first need to generate the list of folders and then delete them. This can be done with the below command.
for /F %i in ('dir /s /b /A:DH') do rmdir /s /q %i

Run the above command from the drive or top folder.
Disclaimer: Be cautious while using these commands, as any mistake would lead to data loss. Test and use them at your own risk.

tayyab hafeez February 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm

i wish to show all hidden files on GUI .. i get my hidden files on command prompt … tell me how these files show on GUI(my computer) … tools —- folder option—- view — show hidden file but its not working :(


Jithin February 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

to show the hidden files at GUI follow this code in cmd
attrib -s -h path to the file
press enter
its done lol

junaid April 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

thank u.. it was helpfull..


amit kulat January 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

you should add more to your blog..ex: how to hide using cmd,how to unlock..etc…by the way your blog is cool keep updating


tt March 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

how to show hidden files /corrupted files using windows commands


John December 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Is it possible to delete list of hidden folders with wildcards?


admin January 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm

You can using for and dir commands. Use dir command to generate the hidden folders and then for to iterate over the list and then delete. You can refer my answer to Diego above. The only change you would need is to specify the wild card in the dir command. For example, to delete the folders starting with letter ‘a’ then the command would be :
for /F %i in ('dir /s /b /A:DH a*') do rmdir /s /q %i

Rahul September 9, 2014 at 7:04 am

How to delete read only ,system and hidden files in a go using del command.

I know it is possible using batch script , but I would like to do it using single command by combining the attributes like /A:HSR.


Steven December 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Thanks man, this really helped


joechin June 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Good evening everyone, I got a question…
How do I identify which file is dummy file ; extra files /files which double install or not been used… how can i delete it by CMD. How can i verify is it important to the system or CPU’s files…???


Alonzo July 25, 2015 at 5:19 am

I have a program that was installed on a directory that’s no longer available or showing up and I’m trying to reinstall the program but it won’t let me because its still showing or finding it when I run it in the no long existent directory. How do I search for it to remove it?


Samvel August 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I got a question. How I can remove a cmd file from my Windows 10 Home for good? It causes a lot of problems such as inability to open all folders by double-click, etc. Thanx.


paulo September 3, 2015 at 3:51 am



kei October 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

hi. i really need some help changing or removing my password for my netbook running windows 7. it took me months to replace its LCD and now I can’t remember my password. The guy who switched the LCD do the system restore and mentioned i have to do it since i haven’t opened it for months.. I can’t get pass the lock screen.. I manage to open the cmd and create a new user from the lock screen so that I can go to my desktop. All access are limited since it is created as a standard user.. I can’t install bluestack, my company tools etc. audio is not running and I’m guessing its because I’m not running as an administrator. I tried changing the password but when I look at uusers in cmd, the user kat which is also me is not listed their. So how can I change something that doesn’t exist or even delete it which is on my last option because I still have my files saved their.


junup ajang November 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

i need all command line and their uses.
how to configure the switch and port on server system network.


thulani January 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm

admin please help me I had a problem with my laptop I copied files from another laptop to my hard drive and the files disappeared on my drive. the space that was taken by the file is still occupied please help me get my file back.


rahul February 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm

what is “WindowsShell.Manifest” ?


admin February 24, 2012 at 6:25 am

But this command would make the files unhidden. Tayyab’s question was to keep the files marked as hidden but show them in GUI.


admin February 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

Also if you don’t know what hidden files you have in a folder, then also this command does not help.


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