How to delete folder with subfolders using command line on Windows 10

It's possible to delete a folder with subfolders and files with Command Prompt and PowerShell, and here's how.

Recursively delete folders commands

You can delete a folder with subfolders and files using commands, but you need to know the correct tool to do the job. On Windows 10, when you need to remove a file or folder with a command terminal, the first tool it comes to mind is the del command, but you will quickly find out that it won’t work to delete folders with subfolders recursively because the tool only deals with files.

The tool will depend on the console you use if you want to delete folders with content inside. If you use Command Prompt, rmdir (remove directory) is the tool you want to delete folders recursively. On the other hand, if you are using PowerShell, Remove-Item is the cmdlet that will do the job.

In this guide, you will learn two ways to delete folders with subfolders with Command Prompt and PowerShell quickly.

Delete folders with subfolders with Command Prompt

To delete a folder with subfolders with a command, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to delete an empty folder and press Enter:

    rmdir PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

    In the command, replace PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME with the folder path and the folder name you want to delete. This example removes the “files” folder:

    rmdir C:\files

    Delete empty folder

  4. Type the following command to delete the folder and subfolders with contents and press Enter:

    rmdir /s PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

    This example removes the “files” folder, subfolders, and files:

    rmdir /s C:\files

    Delete folder with content

  5. Type the following command to delete a folder with content recursively without a confirmation prompt and press Enter:

    rmdir /s /q PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

    This example removes the “files” folder, subfolders, and files without prompting for confirmation:

    rmdir /s /q C:\files

    Delete folder with subfolders quietly

Once you complete the steps, the command will delete the folders with subfolders and files from Windows 10.

The /s option deletes the folder and its content in the above command, but it prompts confirmation. The /q option ignores the prompt and deletes the folder recursively.

Delete folders with subfolders with PowerShell

To recursively delete an entire folder with a PowerShell command, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to delete an empty folder and press Enter:

    Remove-Item PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

    In the command, replace PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME with the folder path and the folder name you want to delete. This example removes the “files” folder:

    Remove-Item C:\files

    PowerShell delete folder command with confirmation

  4. Type the following command to delete an empty folder and press Enter:

    Remove-Item -Recurse -Force PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

    This example removes the “files” folder:

    Remove-Item -Recurse -Force C:\files

    PowerShell recursively delete folder

After you complete the steps, the command will delete the folder and its contents with or without a prompt, depending on the command you choose.

The -Recurse option tells the command that you want to delete the folder and its contents without prompt confirmation. The -Force option is not required but allows for erasing special items, including read-only or hidden files.