Methods to Delete Files Using Command Prompt and Command Line

How to Delete Files Using Command Prompt and Command Line

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 18, 2020 • Filed to: Recover & Repair Files • Proven solutions


Regarding handling everyday tasks, the command line can turn out to be powerful as well as harmful. For instance, the rm command enables you to eliminate or delete files. The rmdir command works in the same manner for directories or folders.

However, you should be cautious because unlike transferring files from the Finder to the Trash, it is not possible to retrieve them if you utilize these commands. Still, in case you desire to make use of the Terminal’s powers, the command delete file is one command which you cannot ignore.

There are ways to include a safeguard to make sure that the only files you erase are truly the ones you want to delete.

Part1. Advantages of Erasing Files Using the Command Line

It is not complicated to delete files using the Finder and you are always able to recover files from Trash in case you want to change your mind. So why take the trouble to delete files using command prompt and command line?

Below are several reasons to delete files Using Command Prompt and Command Line:

Part2. Deleting Files and Folders Using Command Prompt on Windows

Are you aware that it is possible to erase a file on Windows by making use of the Command Prompt? Below are some steps on how to go about it:


How to use Command Prompt to delete files and folders

    1. Begin from Start, and then proceed to All Programs, Accessories, and finally Command Prompt. You can alternately access the run dialog (WinKey and R) and key in ‘cmd’ but not with the quotes.

Run cmd to delete files and folders

    1. Key in ‘del’ but omit the quotes.

Use cmd to delete files and folders

    1. Type the file’s name and the extension. In case you are presently in the directory which contains the file, you are ready to proceed. In case you are not aware of what an extension file is, key in the file inside a kind of search box (this is determined by the computer you have and the kind of search available to you). Click on the right and find properties and it will be present on the key page. It will be the same as ‘C:/myfilename.ext.’

In case you are not in the appropriate directory, you can type ‘cd’ to the directory or key in the complete file path to be erased.

Use cmd to complete file path to delete files and folders

For instance, in case you want to erase ‘file.txt’ you need to key in ‘del file.txt.’ If the file is situated on the desktop, key in ‘C: /Users/username/Desktopfile.txt’ in case you are one directory on top.

Use cmd to erase files and folders

Delete files and folders using Command Prompt

  1. DEL provides support for wildcards characters also, like an asterisk (*). For instance, in case you desire to delete every file on your desktop which has .wav extension, you should type ‘del C: Users/username/Desktop/*.wav.’ Deleting

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Part3. Deleting files/folders using the command line on Mac

Erasing folders or directories varies a bit. If you attempt to operate the rm command on a folder, the message below will appear:

Deleting files using command prompt and command line on Mac

You can't erase a directory utilizing the rm command. rmdir is a special command used to delete directories. Therefore, to erase a director called Archives, you need to operate the command below:

rmdir Archives.

Part4: Deleting a Directory as well as Files in it

  1. rm-R Archives
  2. Keep in mind that this is a permanent decision. You can, however, make use of the –flag for security.
  3. rm-iR Archives
  4. This will request you to verify the deletion of every item.

Part5: Tips and Tricks for Using cmd delete file

In case you are unable to empty your Mac’s trash, the rm – R command is useful. A file may be locked or you might not be permitted to erase one or multiple files. This may be irritating; however, you can make use of the command line to get a simple solution.

1. Type as shown underneath in Terminal

2. Send the Output of a Command to the Clipboard

You will simply send the output straightaway to the clipboard.

delete files using command-Tips and Tricks for Using cmd delete file

From a folder, open the command prompt

You might have attempted to open the command prompt and encountered a lot of cd commands trying to access a folder. The good news is that you can save lots of time by using Explorer to open a command prompt inside a folder. You just need to hold shift, click right on a folder and the context menu will present the option.

delete files using command-open the command prompt

Command History

Most probably, you might have been tapping the up key to access your earlier commands; this can be tiresome if you are attempting to get a specific command. Another method you can use to see your earlier command is using the donkey command.


delete files using command-command history

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