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If you prefer command-line methods, Windows 10 offers a couple of commands to help you delete your files and folders from a Command Prompt window. We’ll show you how to perform this deletion.

Delete Files with Command Prompt on Windows 10

To delete files (not folders) from Command Prompt on Windows 10, you can use the built-in del command. This command helps you remove the specified files from your PC.

Warning: Know that the del command deletes the specified file without moving it to the Recycle Bin. This means you can’t retrieve your file once it’s been deleted.

To use it, first, open Command Prompt. Do this by opening the Start menu, searching for “Command Prompt”, and clicking “Run as Administrator” on the right of the search results.

Select "Run as administrator" for Command Prompt in Windows 10's Start menu.

In the “User Account Control” prompt that appears, click “Yes.”

You now have a Command Prompt window open. Here, type the following command, replacing PATH with the full path to the file you want to delete. Then press Enter.

del PATH
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For example, to delete a file named “MyFile.txt” placed on your desktop, use the following command replacing username with your own username:

del "C:\Users\username\Desktop\MyFile.txt"

Use the "del" command to delete a file from Command Prompt.

And your specified file is now deleted from your storage!

To customize your deletion process, you can use a couple of parameters that the del command offers.

For instance, you can add the /p parameter to the command to get Command Prompt to ask for your confirmation before deleting a file. Similarly, you can add the /f parameter to the command to force delete your read-only files.

Here’s what the above command looks like when paired with the /p parameter:

del /p "C:\Users\username\Desktop\MyFile.txt"

Use the "del /p" command to delete a file with a prompt from Command Prompt.

Delete Folders with Command Prompt on Windows 10

To delete folders (also called directories) on your PC, use Windows’ built-in rmdir command. This command helps you delete folders as well as their subfolders and the files inside them.

Warning: Know that the rmdir command removes folders without moving them to the Recycle Bin. You can’t restore your folders once they have been deleted with this command.
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To use this command, open a Command Prompt window. Do this by opening the Start menu, searching for “Command Prompt”, and clicking “Run as Administrator” on the right of the search results.

Select "Run as administrator" for Command Prompt in Windows 10's Start menu.

In the Command Prompt window that opens, type the following command replacing PATH with the full path to the folder you want to delete. Then press Enter.

Note: Make sure that the folder you’re deleting doesn’t contain any files or folders. If the folder is not empty, use the second command given below to delete your folder.
rmdir PATH

For example, to delete a folder named “MyFolder” on your desktop, use the following command replacing username with your own username:

rmdir "C:\Users\username\Desktop\MyFolder"

Use the "rmdir" command to delete a folder from Command Prompt.

And the command will get the specified folder removed from your PC!

If the folder you want to delete contains any files or folders in it, add the /s parameter to the command and this will remove your folder including all its subfolders and files within them.

rmdir /s "C:\Users\username\Desktop\MyFolder"

Use the "rmdir /s" command to delete a folder and all its subfolders and files from Command Prompt.

And that’s all.

Various Uses of the Del Command

With the del command, you can use your creativity to delete your files in various ways. For example, you can remove certain types of files, remove only the files that have a certain word in their names, and so on.

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For example, to delete all the PNG files in your current folder in Command Prompt, you can use the following command:

Tip: Feel free to replace “.png” with any file extension you want to delete.
del *.png

Delete certain file types with the "del" command from Command Prompt.

This command selects all PNG files in the current folder and deletes them.

Another creative use of the del command is to delete files that contain a certain word in their names. For example, to delete all files whose names start with “word”, you’d use the following command:

Tip: Add the asterisk before the word to delete all files that end with your specified word.
del "word*"

Use the "del" command to delete files with certain words from Command Prompt.

Finally, if you’d like to remove all files from the current folder, use the following command:

del *.*

Use the "del" command to delete all files in a folder from Command Prompt.

And that’s how you delete files and folders with Command Prompt. Very handy!

Deleting files with these methods is certainly not as intuitive as using the graphical methods, but it’s good to have these methods just in case you need them.


On a related note, did you know you can make Windows skip the Recycle Bin while deleting files?

RELATED: How to Skip the Recycle Bin for Deleting Files on Windows 10

Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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