Command line

How to delete folder with subfolders using commands on Windows 11

You can use Command Prompt and PowerShell to delete a folder with subfolders recursively, and here's how.

Windows 11 delete folder with subfolders

On Windows 11, you can use the del command with the terminal to quickly delete a file or folder. However, you can’t use it to delete folders recursively since the tool is designed for files.

If you have to remove files and subfolders from a folder, you will have to use different tools. For example, you can use the rmdir (remove directory) a tool with Command Prompt to delete folders recursively, or you can use the Remove-Item cmdlet on PowerShell.

This guide will teach you two ways to quickly delete folders with Command Prompt and PowerShell subfolders.

Delete folders with subfolders with Command Prompt

To remove a subfolder from a folder with commands on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

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

  3. Type the following command to remove 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 to delete. This example removes the “files” folder:

    rmdir C:\files

    Command Prompt delete single folder

  4. Type the following command to delete folders and subfolders with contents on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    rmdir /s PATH\TO\FOLDER-NAME

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

    rmdir /s C:\files

    Command Prompt delete subfolders from folder

  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

    Command Prompt remove subfolders recursively no prompt

Once you complete the steps, the command will remove a subfolder from a folder and files from Windows 11.

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 on PowerShell

To recursively delete an entire folder (with subfolders) on PowerShell, 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 PATHTOFOLDER-NAME with the folder path and the folder name to delete. This example removes the “files” folder:

    Remove-Item C:\files

    PowerShell delete single folder

  4. Type the following command to delete a folder with subfolders on Windows 11 and press Enter:

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

    This example removes the “files” folder:

    Remove-Item -Recurse -Force C:\files

    PowerShell delete folder with subfolders

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

The -Recurse option deletes the folder and its contents without prompt confirmation. The -Force option erases special items, including read-only or hidden files, but it’s not a required option.