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How to Delete Files in PowerShell

How to Delete Files in PowerShell

This is a post on how to delete files in PowerShell, which will be useful when you need to delete files as part of a script in Windows.

This post covers the following:
# PowerShell: Delete a File
# PowerShell: Delete a Folder
# PowerShell: Delete Files in Subfolders Recursively

I have a similar post on How to Create Files & Folders in PowerShell if of interest, and more random tips can be found in the PowerShell Tips Tag.

PowerShell: Delete a File

Remove-Item is the cmdlet to remove a directory or file in PowerShell. We can delete files within the current directory, or add the path parameter.

I’m showing some syntax variations below. If you are passing a directory with spaces in the name then you will have to add quotes to the path.

# Delete file in current directory
Remove-Item -Name testFile.txt

# Delete file in specified directory
rm -Path C:\temp\demoFolder\testFile.txt

# Delete all files in specified directory with .tmp file extension
rm "C:\temp\*.tmp"
Remove-Item PowerShell

PowerShell: Delete a Folder

We do not need to change any parameters to delete a file, just run the same command as above. The consideration when deleting folders is the files within them.

The following demo script first deletes a folder within the current directory, and the second part checks if folders exist before deleting them.

# Delete a folder in current directory
rm .\demoFolder\

# Delete folder if exists, force delete all files in folder
# Does not delete files in sub-directories
$path = "c:\temp\demoFolder"
If((Test-Path $path) ){
    rm $path -Force -Recurse
PowerShell Delete Folder If Exists

PowerShell: Delete Files in Subfolders Recursively

For when you need to delete files in a folder and subfolders, the script below should help. Amend path and file type wildcard as needed.

# Delete all .txt files in folder & subfolders
$path = "c:\temp\demoFolder"
If((Test-Path $path) ){
    Get-ChildItem $path -Include *.txt -Recurse | rm
PowerShell Delete Files in Folder and Subfolders

Last additional note on this, I haven’t used gci within any of the PowerShell scripts above in this post. It’s an Alias of Get-ChildItem.