[powershell] Delete files older than 15 days using PowerShell

I would like to delete only the files that were created more than 15 days ago in a particular folder. How could I do this using PowerShell?

This question is related to powershell powershell-2.0 powershell-3.0

The answer is


Try this:

dir C:\PURGE -recurse | 
where { ((get-date)-$_.creationTime).days -gt 15 } | 
remove-item -force

Basically, you iterate over files under the given path, subtract the CreationTime of each file found from the current time, and compare against the Days property of the result. The -WhatIf switch will tell you what will happen without actually deleting the files (which files will be deleted), remove the switch to actually delete the files:

$old = 15
$now = Get-Date

Get-ChildItem $path -Recurse |
Where-Object {-not $_.PSIsContainer -and $now.Subtract($_.CreationTime).Days -gt $old } |
Remove-Item -WhatIf

Esperento57's script doesn't work in older PowerShell versions. This example does:

Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\temp" -Recurse -force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | where {($_.LastwriteTime -lt  (Get-Date).AddDays(-15) ) -and (! $_.PSIsContainer)} | select name| Remove-Item -Verbose -Force -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

just simply (PowerShell V5)

Get-ChildItem "C:\temp" -Recurse -File | Where CreationTime -lt  (Get-Date).AddDays(-15)  | Remove-Item -Force

If you are having problems with the above examples on a Windows 10 box, try replacing .CreationTime with .LastwriteTime. This worked for me.

dir C:\locationOfFiles -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Where { ((Get-Date)-$_.LastWriteTime).days -gt 15 } | Remove-Item -Force

The given answers will only delete files (which admittedly is what is in the title of this post), but here's some code that will first delete all of the files older than 15 days, and then recursively delete any empty directories that may have been left behind. My code also uses the -Force option to delete hidden and read-only files as well. Also, I chose to not use aliases as the OP is new to PowerShell and may not understand what gci, ?, %, etc. are.

$limit = (Get-Date).AddDays(-15)
$path = "C:\Some\Path"

# Delete files older than the $limit.
Get-ChildItem -Path $path -Recurse -Force | Where-Object { !$_.PSIsContainer -and $_.CreationTime -lt $limit } | Remove-Item -Force

# Delete any empty directories left behind after deleting the old files.
Get-ChildItem -Path $path -Recurse -Force | Where-Object { $_.PSIsContainer -and (Get-ChildItem -Path $_.FullName -Recurse -Force | Where-Object { !$_.PSIsContainer }) -eq $null } | Remove-Item -Force -Recurse

And of course if you want to see what files/folders will be deleted before actually deleting them, you can just add the -WhatIf switch to the Remove-Item cmdlet call at the end of both lines.

The code shown here is PowerShell v2.0 compatible, but I also show this code and the faster PowerShell v3.0 code as handy reusable functions on my blog.


#----- Define parameters -----#
#----- Get current date ----#
$Now = Get-Date
$Days = "15" #----- define amount of days ----#
$Targetfolder = "C:\Logs" #----- define folder where files are located ----#
$Extension = "*.log" #----- define extension ----#
$Lastwrite = $Now.AddDays(-$Days)

#----- Get files based on lastwrite filter and specified folder ---#
$Files = Get-Children $Targetfolder -include $Extension -Recurse | where {$_.LastwriteTime -le "$Lastwrite"}

foreach ($File in $Files)
{
    if ($File -ne $Null)
    {
        write-host "Deleting File $File" backgroundcolor "DarkRed"
        Remove-item $File.Fullname | out-null
    }
    else
        write-host "No more files to delete" -forgroundcolor "Green"
    }
}

Another way is to subtract 15 days from the current date and compare CreationTime against that value:

$root  = 'C:\root\folder'
$limit = (Get-Date).AddDays(-15)

Get-ChildItem $root -Recurse | ? {
  -not $_.PSIsContainer -and $_.CreationTime -lt $limit
} | Remove-Item

Another alternative (15. gets typed to [timespan] automatically):

ls -file | where { (get-date) - $_.creationtime -gt 15. } | Remove-Item -Verbose

$limit = (Get-Date).AddDays(-15)
$path = "C:\Some\Path"

# Delete files older than the $limit.
Get-ChildItem -Path $path -Force | Where-Object { !$_.PSIsContainer -and $_.CreationTime -lt $limit } | Remove-Item -Force -Recurse

This will delete old folders and it content.


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