Remove-Item

Updated: August 9, 2015

Remove-Item

Deletes the specified items.

Aliases

The following abbreviations are aliases for this cmdlet: 

  • del, erase, rd, ri, rm, rmdir

Syntax

Parameter Set: Path
Remove-Item [-Path] <String[]> [-Credential <PSCredential> ] [-Exclude <String[]> ] [-Filter <String> ] [-Force] [-Include <String[]> ] [-Recurse] [-Stream <System.String[]> ] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [ <CommonParameters>]

Parameter Set: LiteralPath
Remove-Item -LiteralPath <String[]> [-Credential <PSCredential> ] [-Exclude <String[]> ] [-Filter <String> ] [-Force] [-Include <String[]> ] [-Recurse] [-Stream <System.String[]> ] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [ <CommonParameters>]




Detailed Description

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

Parameters

-Credential<PSCredential>

Specifies a user account that has permission to perform this action. The default is the current user.

Type a user name, such as User01 or Domain01\User01, or enter a PSCredential object, such as one generated by the Get-Credential cmdlet. If you type a user name, this cmdlet prompts you for a password.

This parameter is not supported by any providers installed with Windows PowerShell.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Exclude<String[]>

Specifies items that this cmdlet omits. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as *.txt. Wildcard characters are permitted.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Filter<String>

Specifies a filter in the format or language of the provider. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. The syntax of the filter, including the use of wildcard characters, depends on the provider. Filters are more efficient than other parameters, because the provider applies them when it retrieves the objects, instead of having Windows PowerShell filter the objects after they are retrieved.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Force

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


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Include<String[]>

Specifies items to delete. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as *.txt. Wildcard characters are permitted.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-LiteralPath<String[]>

Specifies a path of the items being removed. Unlike Path, the value of the LiteralPath parameter is used exactly as it is typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcard characters. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell Windows PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.


Aliases

PSPath

Required?

true

Position?

named

Default Value

None

Accept Pipeline Input?

true(ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Path<String[]>

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


Aliases

none

Required?

true

Position?

1

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByValue, ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Recurse

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

When it is used with the Include parameter, the Recurse parameter might not delete all subfolders or all child items. This is a known issue. As a workaround, try piping results of the Get-ChildItem -Recurse command to Remove-Item, as described in Example 4 in this topic.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Stream<System.String[]>

Specifies an alternative data stream from a file that this cmdlet deletes. This cmdlet does not delete the file. Enter the stream name. Wildcard characters are supported.

This parameter is not valid on folders.

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. However, it is not the recommended way to eliminate security checks that block files that are downloaded from the Internet. If you verify that a downloaded file is safe, use the Unblock-File cmdlet.

This parameter was introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet.


Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

false

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-WhatIf

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


Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

false

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-UseTransaction

Includes the command in the active transaction. This parameter is valid only when a transaction is in progress. For more information, see  about_Transactions


Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

false

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

<CommonParameters>

This cmdlet supports the common parameters: -Debug, -ErrorAction, -ErrorVariable, -InformationAction, -InformationVariable, -OutVariable, -OutBuffer, -PipelineVariable, -Verbose, -WarningAction, and -WarningVariable. For more information, see    about_CommonParameters.

Inputs

The input type is the type of the objects that you can pipe to the cmdlet.

  • System.String

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


Outputs

The output type is the type of the objects that the cmdlet emits.

  • None

    This cmdlet does not return any output.


Notes

  • You can also refer to Remove-Item by any of its built-in aliases: del, erase, rmdir, rd, ri, or rm. For more information, see about_Aliases.

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

Examples

Example 1: Delete files that have any file name extension

This command deletes all of the files that have names that include a dot (.) from the C:\Test folder. Because the command specifies a dot, the command does not delete folders or files that have no file name extension.


PS C:\>Remove-Item C:\Test\*.*

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

This command deletes from the current folder all files that have a .doc file name extension and a name that does not include 1. It uses the wildcard character (*) to specify the contents of the current folder. It uses the Include and Exclude parameters to specify the files to delete.


PS C:\>Remove-Item * -Include *.doc -Exclude *1*

Example 3: Delete hidden, read-only files

This command deletes a file that is both hidden and read-only. It uses the Path parameter to specify the file. It uses the Force parameter to delete it. Without Force, you cannot delete read-only or hidden files.


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

Example 4: Delete files in subfolders recursively

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

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

In the Get-ChildItem command, Path has a value of *, which represents the contents of the current folder. It uses Include to specify the CSV file type, and it uses Recurse to make the retrieval recursive.

If you try to specify the file type the path, such as -Path *.csv, the cmdlet interprets the subject of the search to be a file that has no child items, and Recurse fails.


PS C:\>Get-ChildItem * -Include *.csv -Recurse | Remove-Item

Example 5: Delete subkeys recursively

This command deletes the OldApp registry key and all its subkeys and values. It uses Remove-Item to 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 key contains subkeys and you omit the Recurse parameter, you are prompted to confirm that you want to delete the contents of the key.


PS C:\>Remove-Item hklm:\software\mycompany\OldApp -Recurse

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