Do you want to delete a directory from Windows command prompt(CMD)? This post explains how to use the command
rmdir to delete folders and their contents. You can also find examples for each use case of folder deletion – empty folders, non empty folders, folders with white spaced names etc.
Delete folder from CMD
Run the command
rmdir on the folder.
C:>rmdir emptydir C:>
How to delete a non empty folder
rmdir does not work for folders having some content.
C:>rmdir nonemptydir The directory is not empty.
/s option to delete the folder contents along with the folder. This deletes all subfolders recursively.
C:>rmdir /S nonemptydir nonemptydir, Are you sure (Y/N)? y C:>
Force delete a folder without confirmation
To force delete directory, without being asked for confirmation, we can use /Q switch.
rmdir /Q /S nonemptydir
We can also use ‘rd’ in place of ‘rmdir‘. Both names refer to the same command. This command works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7 and 10.
Deleting directory with white spaces in the name
Rmdir can delete files with whitespaces in the name, you just need to wrap up the folder name in double quotes as shown in the below example.
rmdir /Q /S "folder with spaces in the name"
Delete contents of a directory but keep the directory
The usecase here is to delete all the contents of the directory but keep the parent directory so that we do not need to create it again.
rmdir /Q /S does not work here as it deletes the parent directory too. Rather the below commands should do the trick.
forfiles /P directory_path /M * /C "cmd /c if @isdir==FALSE del @file" forfiles /P directory_path /M * /C "cmd /c if @isdir==TRUE rmdir /S /Q @file"
This works in 2 steps – the first command deletes all files, whereas the second one deletes all subdirectories.
To delete a directory, you should have appropriate access permissions on the directory. Otherwise rmdir throws ‘Access denied’ error.
Thanks dude..I was looking for command line way of deleting nonempty folders.. cheers!!!
Good old DOS….something tells me one day the world will be saved by a DOS operation. ; )
cannot delete… access is denied. am trying to delete a directory on a flash drive. cannot access permissions because explorer isn't working. using win7
use attrib command
atrrib filename.extension +r (read only)
atrrib filename.extension +h (hidden)
Don’t forget to leave a “space” in the command line..
rmdir /Q /S_“folder with spaces in the name” I meant “space”, ait’t “underscore”. And upper case of “S”. Good luck!
can you show me an example of command to delete this path in bat file.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communicator
am not able to do this . some error s
Is this in Windows 7/Vista?.
If so then you need to take ownership of the files. You can do that with below command from elevated administrator command prompt.
takeown /F "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communicator" /R /A
then run the below command to delete this folder.
rmdir /S "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communicator"
cd program files\microsoft office communicator
then enter press
rd /s “filename”
I am getting the following error “The process cannot access the file because it is being us
ed by another process.” what should be the case now?
You should not have the Dir you want to delete open… Close it and then try the command again
Could you kindly post the command for deleting my folder which is at Drive G. Name of the folder is Recycler. Thanks
Thank you so much. I was trying to delete an entire directory of files, about 200k folders and files, and it kept throwing a warning “this folder is shared with other people”. No such warning with this command!
i followed your instructions but i’m getting error to delete a folder in cmd. ERROR = The system cannot find the the specified…
You should make “C:” your default Directory, tot do this type “cd.. && cd..” The type the command again but leave the “C:\” and just type the rest of the code.
It should look like this: C:>rmdir /Q /S Users\Owner\Songs\New
i have installed new win 8 n a back up of old win 8 is in c drive with a name windows old n its not being deleted by ANY means . i have tried this one as well but it says on all files access is denied
I tried the process many times but it says “access is denied”….
My entire path is “C:\program files\alwil software\avast5” . How should i delete this avast5 folder with all the folders inside it????????????
run cmd.exe as administrator
make sure avast service is not running
Every time I try it says the file cant be found
you’re really awesome. Googled a 1000 times just for this line
“C:\>rmdir /S nonemptydir
nonemptydir, Are you sure (Y/N)? y”
Thank you so much for your help. This changed my life.
Thank you so much for your help. This changed my life.
please attache more basic command for beginner person for my email
I need to do that, help me out
D:\abc\has files and folders in it
but by using rd or rmdir
rmdir d:\abc\ /s /qwill delete abc folder also but i don’t want this.
rmdir /Q /S D:\abc\*
the asterisk stands for ‘anything’ in or below the named directory.
I want to delete subfolders of a folder older than 10 days.I am able to delete files but not folder
I wanted to know the bat file programm for deleting the contents (sub folders) of a folder on certain conditions. can anyone help.?
How to delete folders created programatically with timestamp attached at the end.
Like we do for files :
Is there any command for folders:
I’m wanting to delete the directory c:\windows.old I followed the instructions above I run CMD as admin, I typed in: takeown /F c:\windows.old /R /A And hit enter key. It did this part properly but Then I typed in: rmdir /Q /S c:\windows.old And after every entry it said Access denied. what is the command line/s i need to type to atlas delete the directory c:\windows.old ? (using windows 10)
I got the same problem…….
please someone help.
thank you !!!!!!!
i m so glad
I followed the instructions above I run CMD as admin, I typed in: takeown /F c:\windows.old /R /A And hit enter key. It did this part properly but Then I typed in: rmdir /Q /S c:\windows.old And after every entry it said Access denied. what is the command line/s i need to type to atlas delete the directory c:\windows.old ? (using windows 10.
Please somebody help………………………
takeown /f D:\OrganizationalUnit\Everyone /r /d y
icacls D:\OrganizationalUnit\Everyone /grant administrators:F /T
attrib -s -h -r D:\OrganizationalUnit\EVERYONE /s /d
forfiles /P D:\OrganizationalUnit\Everyone\ -S -M *.* /D -2 /C “cmd /c del /f /q @PATH”
forfiles /P D:\OrganizationalUnit\Everyone\ /M * /D -2 /C “cmd /c if @isdir==TRUE rmdir /S /Q @file”
Thank you very much! With these commands I could remove all “c:\Windows.old” files and directories.
I have four folders and I want to keep two of them along with their contents and delete other two folders. How can I do that?
My Parent folder -> Folder 1 (file1.txt), Folder 2 (file2.txt), Folder 3 (file3.txt), Folder 4 (file4.txt).
Need to delete or remove 2 folders and keep 2 folder with their content.
Need command for this.
Any help will be appreciated.
Super Cool!! Deleted a stubborn non empty directory in no time. Thanks for this guide.
I have several folder: folder1, folder2, folder3
how to delete all “folder” with *
Note: This commands doest’n work:
I want to thank you very much for the help on deleting these files. I ended up using the CMD method, but it worked perfectly. Again, thank you!!!!
Thanks. After struggling for months and hunting the web, I was finally able to delete a folder using your advice “Deleting directory with white spaces in the name”
OMG! Thank you! Was trying to delete the remaining empty folders of an old eset nod, but couldn’t. This did the trick (hoping). I’m just wondering if its still in the background somewhere. T.hanks again
in programatically if any changes in the inner files or directory after delete the parent directory doesnot work
system(“rmdir /s/q \””d:/test/hari\””);——>it works
system(“rmdir /s/q \””d:/test\””);—–>it doesn’t work
Thank you for these still useful tips.
That worked verywell. Thank You
I tried the command, but someone has created the directory repeatedly and now I can not removed the base directory. Help
E:\>rmdir /s /q thur2
Thur2\AC_FSQ~1.ZIP – The file name is too long.
Thur2\AC_HR1~1.ZIP – The file name is too long.
Thur2\AC_HR1~2.ZIP – The file name is too long.
The path thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2
r2\Thur2\Thur2\Thur2\AC_FSQ~1.ZIP is too long.
Just cd further down and delete the individual files until you can delete the whole directory. Your pathname is too long, so cull files/folders at the end of the path until it’s short enough to resolve as a valid path.
i am facing this error Remove-Item : A positional parameter cannot be found that accepts argument nonemptyfolder
i am using Windows 10 Home Version
Really this blog keeps changing my life. So much of junk non-empty folders in my computer. Thanks a lot.
Under Windows 10 this does not work. RM /S don’t work if there are more than one level of directories and emit a message “Directory not empty”. And then don’t delete it.
It’s a bug of Microsoft.
I am unable to remove an empty folder from my desktop. After using the rmsd it returns an error message “cannot be deleted, file is corrupted” Is there a fix for this please?
I have probems removing a directory and some files.
Admin gave the advice:
takeown /F “c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communicator” /R /A
but when I run that command, I get the following response:
ERROR: The current logged on user does not have administrative privileges.
What do I do?
Running the takeown command from administrator command prompt should work. (Open cmd.exe with run as administrator option)
Trying to delete a directory using CMD as administrator with RMDIR, but keep getting ACCESS DENIED…….