Using PowerShell and CMD to delete complete directories, with examples?
You can use PowerShell and / or cmd.exe to delete complete directories in one go with subdirectories on Windows 11, 10, ...!
Deleting of Directories Preface:
Deleting directories sometimes makes more sense at the command line than with the Microsoft File Explorer, or Quad Explorer , because of the File Filter (wildcard /placeholder) feature, it makes perfect sense. This is not only possible under Windows 11 / 10 / 8.1 / 7. This type of deletion is often used by administrators, especially on Windows Server 2019, 2016, .... .
1.) Deleting the directories from the command prompt (cmd.exe)
In the Windows Command Prompt, you can use directories with the RD command , or known as RMDIR, or if you want to delete the folder C:\Folder1, for example , type the following command:
Do not forget to press Enter.
Here we deleted the directory, if the directory contains no file, or subfolder, it is not a problem.
However, if there are files in the specific folder, you must confirm the deletion and use the "/s" argument / parameter!
Here is a simple example:
The directory is not empty.
C:\Windows\System32>rmdir c:\Folder1 /s
Do you want to delete "c:\Folder1" (Y/N)? j
You can also do this for folders with spaces in the path.
The same command works, but you must enclose the folder name in quotation marks, as shown in the following example.
C:\Windows\System32>rmdir "c:\Folder 2" /s
Do you want to delete "c:\Folder 2" (Y/N)? y
If executed correctly, no error message will be displayed!
To clear the directory in quiet mode without being prompted for confirmation, you can use the /Q parameter .
C:\Windows\System32>rmdir "c:\Folder 2" /s /q
2.) Deleting directories using PowerShell!
Even with Powershell you can delete directories and files! The RD RMDIR command can also be used in the powershell console. However, this is not the powershell home-made-directories-delete-command and there is hardly any feedback!
C:\Windows\System32>rmdir "c:\Test Del Folder 2" /s
That would be the correct Powershell command!
Remove-item "C: \Folder 1" and confirm with [Y]
PS C:\Windows\system32> Remove-Item "C:\Folder 1"
Confirm The item at C:\Folder 1 has children and the Recurse parameter was not specified. If you continue, all children will be removed with the item. Are you sure you want to continue?
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is "Y"): y
Here with wildcard (placeholder) function!
Show if the filter works:
Remove-Item "C:\1\*" -filter *New* -whatif
and delete with wildcard (placeholders) Function:
Remove-Item "C:\1\*" -filter *New*
Sub Example 1: C:\PS>remove-item "C:\1\*" -include *.doc -exclude *important*
This command deletes from the "C:\1" directory all microsoft office files with file name extension ".doc" and a name that does not include "important".
Sub Example 2: C:\PS>remove-item -path "C:\1\*" -force
Sub Example 3: C:\PS>get-childitem "C:\1\" -include *.csv -recurse | remove-item
This command deletes all of the TXT files in the "C:\1\" directory and all subdirectories recursively.
PS C:\Windows\system32> Remove-Item "C:\1\*" -Filter *New* -whatif
What if: Performing operation "Remove Directory" on Target "C:\1\New Folder".
What if: Performing operation "Remove Directory" on Target "C:\1\New Folder (2)".
What if: Performing operation "Remove Directory" on Target "C:\1\New Folder (3)".
PS C:\Windows\system32> Remove-Item "C:\1\*" -Filter *New*
ColorConsole [Version 2.6.1001 ]
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Removes (deletes) a directory.
RMDIR [/S] [/Q] [drive:]path
RD [/S] [/Q] [drive:]path
Removes all directories and files in the specified directory
in addition to the directory itself. Used to remove a directory
Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to remove a directory tree with /S
You can safely use this on the following operating systems: Windows 11, 10 Pro, Enterprise, Home, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows-Server 2019, 2016, 2012, Windows 7 Basic, Professional, Starter, Ultimate and this all for free!
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