Remove-Item (Microsoft.PowerShell.Management) - PowerShell (2023)

  • Reference
Module:
Microsoft.PowerShell.Management

Deletes the specified items.

Syntax

Remove-Item [-Path] <String[]> [-Filter <String>] [-Include <String[]>] [-Exclude <String[]>] [-Recurse] [-Force] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [-Stream <String[]>] [<CommonParameters>]
Remove-Item -LiteralPath <String[]> [-Filter <String>] [-Include <String[]>] [-Exclude <String[]>] [-Recurse] [-Force] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [-Stream <String[]>] [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Remove-Item cmdlet deletes one or more items. Because it is supported by many providers, itcan delete many different types of items, including files, folders, registry keys, variables,aliases, and functions.

Examples

Example 1: Delete files that have any file name extension

This example deletes all of the files that have names that include a dot (.) from the C:\Testfolder. Because the command specifies a dot, the command does not delete folders or files that haveno file name extension.

Remove-Item C:\Test\*.*

Example 2: Delete some of the document files in a folder

This example deletes from the current folder all files that have a .doc file name extension and aname that does not include *1*.

Remove-Item * -Include *.doc -Exclude *1*

It uses the wildcard character (*) to specify the contents of the current folder. It uses theInclude and Exclude parameters to specify the files to delete.

Example 3: Delete hidden, read-only files

This command deletes a file that is both hidden and read-only.

Remove-Item -Path C:\Test\hidden-RO-file.txt -Force

It uses the Path parameter to specify the file. It uses the Forceparameter to delete it. Without Force, you cannot delete read-only orhidden files.

Example 4: Delete files in subfolders recursively

This command deletes all of the CSV files in the current folder and all subfolders recursively.

Because the Recurse parameter in Remove-Item has a known issue, the command in this exampleuses Get-ChildItem to get the desired files, and then uses the pipeline operator to pass them toRemove-Item.

Get-ChildItem * -Include *.csv -Recurse | Remove-Item

In the Get-ChildItem command, Path has a value of (*), which represents the contents of thecurrent folder. It uses Include to specify the CSV file type, and it uses Recurse to makethe retrieval recursive. If you try to specify the file type in the path, such as -Path *.csv, thecmdlet interprets the subject of the search to be a file that has no child items, and Recursefails.

Note

This behavior was fixed in Windows versions 1909 and up.

Example 5: Delete subkeys recursively

This command deletes the "OldApp" registry key and all its subkeys and values. It uses Remove-Itemto remove the key. The path is specified, but the optional parameter name (Path) is omitted.

The Recurse parameter deletes all of the contents of the "OldApp" key recursively. If the keycontains subkeys and you omit the Recurse parameter, you are prompted to confirm that you wantto delete the contents of the key.

Remove-Item HKLM:\Software\MyCompany\OldApp -Recurse

Example 6: Deleting files with special characters

The following example shows how to delete files that contain special characters like brackets orparentheses.

Get-ChildItemDirectory: C:\temp\DownloadsMode LastWriteTime Length Name---- ------------- ------ -----a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1362 myFile.txt-a--- 6/1/2018 12:30 PM 1132 myFile[1].txt-a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1283 myFile[2].txt-a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1432 myFile[3].txtGet-ChildItem | Where-Object Name -Like '*`[*'Directory: C:\temp\DownloadsMode LastWriteTime Length Name---- ------------- ------ -----a--- 6/1/2018 12:30 PM 1132 myFile[1].txt-a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1283 myFile[2].txt-a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1432 myFile[3].txtGet-ChildItem | Where-Object Name -Like '*`[*' | ForEach-Object { Remove-Item -LiteralPath $_.Name }Get-ChildItemDirectory: C:\temp\DownloadsMode LastWriteTime Length Name---- ------------- ------ -----a--- 6/1/2018 12:19 PM 1362 myFile.txt

Example 7: Remove an alternate data stream

This example shows how to use the Stream dynamic parameter of the Remove-Item cmdlet to deletean alternate data stream. The stream parameter is introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

Get-Item C:\Test\Copy-Script.ps1 -Stream Zone.IdentifierFileName: \\C:\Test\Copy-Script.ps1Stream Length------ ------Zone.Identifier 26Remove-Item C:\Test\Copy-Script.ps1 -Stream Zone.IdentifierGet-Item C:\Test\Copy-Script.ps1 -Stream Zone.IdentifierGet-Item : Could not open alternate data stream 'Zone.Identifier' of file 'C:\Test\Copy-Script.ps1'.

The Stream parameter Get-Item gets the Zone.Identifier stream of the Copy-Script.ps1file. Remove-Item uses the Stream parameter to remove the Zone.Identifier stream of thefile. Finally, the Get-Item cmdlet shows that the Zone.Identifier stream was deleted.

Parameters

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet. For more information, see the followingarticles:

  • about_Preference_Variables
  • about_Functions_CmdletBindingAttribute
Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:cf
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

-Credential

Note

This parameter is not supported by any providers installed with PowerShell.To impersonate another user, or elevate your credentials when running this cmdlet,use Invoke-Command.

Type:PSCredential
Position:Named
Default value:Current user
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False

-Exclude

Specifies, as a string array, an item or items that this cmdlet excludes in the operation. The valueof this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as*.txt. Wildcard characters are permitted. The Exclude parameter is effective only when thecommand includes the contents of an item, such as C:\Windows\*, where the wildcard characterspecifies the contents of the C:\Windows directory.

When using Recurse with Exclude, Exclude only filters results of the current directory.If there are files that match the Exclude pattern in subfolders, those files are removed alongwith its parent directory.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True

-Filter

Specifies a filter to qualify the Path parameter. TheFileSystem provider is the onlyinstalled PowerShell provider that supports the use of filters. You can find the syntax for theFileSystem filter language inabout_Wildcards. Filters are more efficientthan other parameters, because the provider applies them when the cmdlet gets the objects ratherthan having PowerShell filter the objects after they are retrieved.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True

-Force

Forces the cmdlet to remove items that cannot otherwise be changed, such as hidden or read-onlyfiles or read-only aliases or variables. The cmdlet cannot remove constant aliases or variables.Implementation varies from provider to provider. For more information, seeabout_Providers. Even using the Forceparameter, the cmdlet cannot override security restrictions.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

-Include

Specifies, as a string array, an item or items that this cmdlet includes in the operation. The valueof this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as"*.txt". Wildcard characters are permitted. The Include parameter is effective only when thecommand includes the contents of an item, such as C:\Windows\*, where the wildcard characterspecifies the contents of the C:\Windows directory.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True

-LiteralPath

Specifies a path to one or more locations. The value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it istyped. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, encloseit in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell PowerShell not to interpret any charactersas escape sequences.

For more information, seeabout_Quoting_Rules.

Type:String[]
Aliases:PSPath, LP
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False

-Path

Specifies a path of the items being removed.Wildcard characters are permitted.

Type:String[]
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:True

-Recurse

Indicates that this cmdlet deletes the items in the specified locations and in all child items ofthe locations.

The Recurse parameter might not delete all subfolders or all child items. This is a known issue.

Note

This behavior was fixed in Windows versions 1909 and newer.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

-Stream

Note

This Parameter is only available on Windows.

The Stream parameter is a dynamic parameter that the FileSystem provider adds to Remove-Item.This parameter works only in file system drives.

You can use Remove-Item to delete an alternative data stream, such as Zone.Identifier.However, it is not the recommended way to eliminate security checks that block files that aredownloaded from the Internet. If you verify that a downloaded file is safe, use the Unblock-Filecmdlet.

This parameter was introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0. As of Windows PowerShell 7.2, Remove-Itemcan remove alternative data streams from directories as well as files.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True

-WhatIf

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet is not run.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:wi
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

String

You can pipe a string that contains a path, but not a literal path, to this cmdlet.

Outputs

None

This cmdlet returns no output.

Notes

PowerShell includes the following aliases for Remove-Item:

  • All platforms:
    • del
    • erase
    • rd
    • ri
  • Windows:
    • rm
    • rmdir

The Remove-Item cmdlet is designed to work with the data exposed by any provider. To list theproviders available in your session, type Get-PsProvider. For more information, seeabout_Providers.

When you try to delete a folder that contains items without using the Recurse parameter, thecmdlet prompts for confirmation. Using -Confirm:$false does not suppress the prompt. This is bydesign.

  • Clear-Item
  • Copy-Item
  • Get-Item
  • Invoke-Item
  • Move-Item
  • New-Item
  • Remove-ItemProperty
  • Rename-Item
  • Set-Item
  • about_Providers
  • about_Preference_Variables
  • about_Functions_CmdletBindingAttribute
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