Delete one or more files.
DEL [options] [/A:file_attributes] files_to_delete
|Switch/data||What it does|
|files_to_delete||This may be a filename, a list of files or a Wildcard options|
|/P||Give a Yes/No Prompt before deleting.|
|/F||Ignore read-only setting and delete anyway (FORCE)|
|/S||Delete from all Subfolders (DELTREE)|
|/Q||Quiet mode, do not give a Yes/No Prompt before deleting.|
|/A||Select files to delete based on file_attributes|
|Switch||What it does|
These can be combined with part of a filename
To delete HelloWorld.TXT
To delete Hello Big World.TXT
DEL "Hello Big World.TXT"
To delete all files that start with the letter A
To delete all files that end with the letter A
To delete all files with a .DOC extension
To delete all read only files
DEL /a:R *
To delete all files including any that are read only
DEL /F *
Files are sometimes created with the reserved names: CON, AUX, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, PRN, NUL. To delete these use the syntax:
If a folder name is given instead of a file, all files in the folder will be deleted, but the folder itself will not be removed.
You should clear out TEMP files on a regular basis - this is best done at startup when no applications are running. To delete all files in all subfolders of C:\temp\ but leave the folder structure intact:
DEL /F /S /Q \%TEMP\%
When clearing out the TEMP directory it is not generally worthwhile removing the subfolders too - they don't use much space and constantly deleting and recreating them can potentially increase fragmentation within the Master File Table. Deleting a file will not prevent third party utilities from un-deleting it again, however you can turn any file into a zero-byte file to destroy the file allocation chain like this:
TYPE nul > C:\examples\MyFile.txt
ERASE is a synonym for DEL.
If Command Extensions are enabled (default) DEL /S [path]filename(s) will display a list of the files deleted. If Command Extensions are disabled: DEL /S [path]filename(s) will display a list of any files it cannot find.
Previous versions of Windows had the DELTREE command that deletes all files and sub folders, DEL /s will delete all files, RD /s will remove all files and folders including the root folder.
The following command script will also provide DELTREE functionality:
del /q *.*
for /f "Tokens=*" \%\%G in ('dir /B') do rd /s /q "\%\%G"
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