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*
3.) What should I consider when deleting the directories by command line!
Unlike the file explorer, actions can not be undone, so you have to be clear about what you are deleting.
make is not here!
Otherwise, quite handy deleting the directories via command line under Microsoft's Windows.
4.) Overview of the RD or RMDIR commands!
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!
5.) An example cmd delete full directory without asking!
Often you want to delete entire directories/folders with all contents and subdirectories without having to confirm it again and again!
There is no query like “Are you sure” or anything else? If there is no error, there is no feedback!
( ...see image-1 )
C:\Windows\System32>rmdir c:\Folder-1 /s /q
| (Image-1) Delete entire directories with PowerShell and CMD!
6.) The most important commands for handling files/folders in PowerShell!
The PowerShell commands:
Remove-Item = Remove a folder or file
Get-Item = Show a folder or file
Set-Item = Change folder or file properties
New-Item = Create a new folder or file
Get-ChildItem = Show subfolders
7.) ... Tip: delete date-related data and files without file extensions!
the argument /d -100
to delete all files that are over 100 days old
the argument *
for all files and folders
the filter to only delete files without a file extension
if @isdir==FALSE if @ext==\"\"
forfiles /M * /d -100 /c "cmd /c if @isdir==FALSE if @ext==\"\" del @path"
| (Image-3) Example of the address line in Q-Dir!
8.) Why is deleting via Command Prompt so popular?
Deleting files using the command prompt (also called “command prompt” or “cmd”) is popular in some cases because it offers certain advantages that can be useful for certain tasks. Here are some reasons why people use Command Prompt to delete files:
Control and Precision: Command Prompt allows users to delete files and directories with great precision. You can enter precise commands to remove only specific files or folders without accidentally touching other files.
Batch Processing: Command Prompt is suitable for processing multiple files or folders at the same time. You can create scripts or batch files to automatically delete many files at once.
Knowing the exact command allows you to quickly delete files and folders in Command Prompt without having to navigate graphical user interfaces.
Access to system files:
Command Prompt often also grants advanced permissions to access and delete protected or system files. This may be necessary in some cases.
In some cases, deleting files using Command Prompt can be helpful to fix serious problems or malware infections where the graphical user interface may be limited.
However, it is important to note that using Command Prompt also carries risks. A mistyped command can result in important files being accidentally deleted, and Command Prompt often requires administrative privileges, which can be potentially dangerous if used improperly. Therefore, you should be careful and make sure you know what you are doing when using Command Prompt to delete files.
FAQ 33: Updated on: 1 October 2023 14:32
There are commands to control the power settings under Windows, it makes sense if you want to change them by batch file on Windows OS Here are a few examples,
Also during the command input you can change the CMD background color by command and the text, here an example The color values can be indicated by two
The solution is simple to disable and enable SmartScreen via CMD BATCH command and command prompt Smart Screen Internet Explorer disable C:\Windows\System32>REG
In Windows you can start programs via AT at a certain time without additional software programs Start the cmd.exe and use the command "AT" in the combination
In Windows you can copy via COPY command without file explorer, files and directories without additional software Start the cmd.exe and use the command
The command prompt on Windows 11, 10, etc. allows you to view / query shared folders and current sessions / open files The solution is quite simple
Time controlled Autostart of Windows 11, 10, etc. programs In new Windows OS you can use SCHTASK to start programs at a certain time Start the cmd.exe
»» My question is not there in the FAQ
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