Windows XP and DOS

Remove a Directory and All Subdirectories

SUMMARY: Use these Windows XP and DOS command line parameters with the RMDIR command to remove all subdirectories.


The Windows XP DOS command RMDIR removes a directory from your system and has the following syntax:

RMDIR directory_name

For example, to remove directory C:\BLAH, enter:

RMDIR C:\BLAH

Note that you cannot be inside the directory that you are deleting; else you will be prompted with the message "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process".

Normally the RMDIR command will not remove a directory if it is empty. However, if you add the /S parameter, all files and directories underneath the specified directory will be removed. USE WITH CAUTION! You will be prompted with an "Are you sure" question that lets you back out in case you entered the wrong directory name.

If you need to perform this task in a batch file, you can add the /Q parameter to the end. This will delete the specified directory, all files, and all subdirectories, WITHOUT ANY WARNING.

For example, the following command will remove directory C:\blah and all subdirectories and files contained therein. No prompt will be displayed.

RMDIR c:\blah /s /q

If you wish you can use RD as an abbreviation for RMDIR.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.