Rmdir (rd)

Removes (that is, deletes) a directory.


rmdir [Drive:]Path [/s] [/q]

rd [Drive:]Path [/s] [/q]


[Drive:]Path : Specifies the location and name of the directory that you want to delete.

/s : Removes the specified directory and all subdirectories including any files. Use /s to remove a tree.

/q : Runs rmdir in quiet mode. Deletes directories without confirmation.

/? : Displays help at the command prompt.


Using rmdir at the Recovery Console

The rmdir command, with different parameters, is available from the Recovery Console.

Cannot delete directory with hidden or system files

You cannot delete a directory that contains files, including hidden or system files. If you attempt to do so, the following message appears:

The directory not empty

Use the dir command to list hidden and system files, and the attrib command to remove hidden and system attributes from files. For more information, see Related Topics.

Using the backslash character with the path parameter

If you insert a backslash (\) before the first directory name in path, the directory is treated as a subdirectory of the root directory, regardless of your current directory. If you do not insert a backslash before the first directory name in path, the directory is treated as a subdirectory of the current directory.

Deleting the current directory

You cannot use rmdir to delete the current directory. You must first change to a different directory (not a subdirectory of the current directory) and then use rmdir with a path. If you attempt to delete the current directory, the following message appears:

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.


To delete a directory named \User\Smith, first ensure that the directory is empty. To do this, type:

dir \user\smith /a

Only the "." and ".." symbols should display.

Then, from any directory except \User\Smith, type:

rmdir \user\smith

To delete the directory \User and all of the subdirectories and files, type:

rmdir /s \user

Formatting legend



Information that the user must supply


Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

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Code or program output




Command-line reference A-Z

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