How to Delete Files Older than X Days on Windows

By Taylor Gibb on December 24th, 2012

image

We have already shown you how flexible the Linux shell can be, but that’s not to say Windows is any further behind. Here’s two techniques you can use depending on your shell preference, cmd or PowerShell.

PowerShell 3

Get-ChildItem –Path  “C:\Backups” –Recurse | Where-Object CreationTime –lt (Get-Date).AddDays(-5) | Remove-Item

PowerShell 2

Get-ChildItem –Path  “C:\Backups” –Recurse | Where-Object{$_.CreationTime –lt (Get-Date).AddDays(-5)} | Remove-Item

Explanation

  • Firstly we get FileInfo and DirectoryInfo objects in the Path C:\Backups.
  • FileInfo and DirectoryInfo objects both contain a CreationTime property, so we can filter the collection using that.
  • The –lt (less than) operator is then used to compare the CreationTime property of the objects with Get-Date (the current date) subtract 5 days.
  • This then leaves us with a collection of objects that were created more than 5 days ago, which we pass to Remove-Item.

Pro Tip

To see what will be removed you can use the –WhatIf parameter:

Get-ChildItem –Path  “C:\Backups” –Recurse | Where-Object CreationTime –lt (Get-Date).AddDays(-5) | Remove-Item –WhatIf

image

Command Prompt

While we recommend you use one of the PowerShell methods, without getting into any of the gritty details you can also do it from command prompt.

forfiles -p "C:\Backups" -s -m *.* -d -5 -c "cmd /c del @path"

Pro Tip

To see what files are going to be deleted you can use echo.

forfiles -p "C:\Backups" -s -m *.* -d -5 -c "cmd /c echo @file"

image

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 12/24/12
More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!