How to delete large folders super fast

The two commands that users require are Del, for deleting files, and Rmdir, for removing directories.

  • Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe and select the result to load the command prompt.
  • Navigate to the folder that you want to delete (with all its files and subfolders). Use cd path, e.g. cd o:\backups\test\ to do so.
  • The command DEL /F/Q/S *.* > NUL deletes all files in that folder structure, and omits the output which improves the process further.
  • Use cd.. to navigate to the parent folder afterwards.
  • Run the command RMDIR /Q/S foldername to delete the folder and all of its subfolders.

The commands may require some explanation.

DEL /F/Q/S *.* > NUL

  • /F — forces the deletion of read-only files.
  • /Q — enables quiet mode. You are not ask if it is ok to delete files (if you don’t use this, you are asked for any file in the folder).
  • /S — runs the command on all files in any folder under the selected structure.
  • *.* — delete all files.
  • > NUL — disables console output. This improves the process further, shaving off about one quarter of the processing time off of the console command.

RMDIR /Q/S foldername

  • /Q — Quiet mode, won’t prompt for confirmation to delete folders.
  • /S — Run the operation on all folders of the selected path.
  • foldername — The absolute path or relative folder name, e.g. o:/backup/test1 or test1

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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