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How to delete files/subfolders in a specific directory at the command prompt in Windows


Question

Say, there is a variable called %pathtofolder%, as it makes it clear it is a full path of a folder.

I want to delete every single file and subfolder in this directory, but not the directory itself.

But, there might be an error like 'this file/folder is already in use'... when that happens, it should just continue and skip that file/folder.

Is there some command for this?

2019/09/14
1
312
9/14/2019 6:17:31 PM

Accepted Answer

You can use this shell script to clean up the folder and files within C:\Temp source:

del /q "C:\Temp\*"
FOR /D %%p IN ("C:\Temp\*.*") DO rmdir "%%p" /s /q

Create a batch file (say, delete.bat) containing the above command. Go to the location where the delete.bat file is located and then run the command: delete.bat

2017/05/23
259
5/23/2017 11:55:19 AM


The simplest solution I can think of is removing the whole directory with

RD /S /Q folderPath

Then creating this directory again:

MD folderPath
2013/04/23

This will remove the folders and files and leave the folder behind.

pushd "%pathtofolder%" && (rd /s /q "%pathtofolder%" 2>nul & popd)
2013/06/13

@ECHO OFF

SET THEDIR=path-to-folder

Echo Deleting all files from %THEDIR%
DEL "%THEDIR%\*" /F /Q /A

Echo Deleting all folders from %THEDIR%
FOR /F "eol=| delims=" %%I in ('dir "%THEDIR%\*" /AD /B 2^>nul') do rd /Q /S "%THEDIR%\%%I"
@ECHO Folder deleted.

EXIT

...deletes all files and folders underneath the given directory, but not the directory itself.

2020/04/18

CD [Your_Folder]
RMDIR /S /Q .

You'll get an error message, tells you that the RMDIR command can't access the current folder, thus it can't delete it.

Update:

From this useful comment (thanks to Moritz Both), you may add && between, so RMDIR won't run if the CD command fails (e.g. mistyped directory name):

CD [Your_Folder] && RMDIR /S /Q .

From Windows Command-Line Reference:

/S: Deletes a directory tree (the specified directory and all its subdirectories, including all files).

/Q: Specifies quiet mode. Does not prompt for confirmation when deleting a directory tree. (Note that /q works only if /s is specified.)

2017/11/26

RD stands for REMOVE Directory.

/S : Delete all files and subfolders in addition to the folder itself. Use this to remove an entire folder tree.

/Q : Quiet - do not display YN confirmation

Example :

RD /S /Q C:/folder_path/here
2015/09/22

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1965787
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