[windows] How to delete empty folders using windows command prompt?

I need to delete all empty folders from my application folder using windows command prompt?

How can I create a bat file like that?

Please help me.

This question is related to windows command-line command directory

The answer is


You can use the ROBOCOPY command. It is very simple and can also be used to delete empty folders inside large hierarchy.

ROBOCOPY folder1 folder1 /S /MOVE

Here both source and destination are folder1, as you only need to delete empty folders, instead of moving other(required) files to different folder. /S option is to skip copying(moving - in the above case) empty folders. It is also faster as the files are moved inside the same drive.


A simpler way is to do xcopy to make a copy of the entire directory structure using /s switch. help for /s says Copies directories and subdirectories except empty ones.

xcopy dirA dirB /S

where dirA is source with Empty folders. DirB will be the copy without empty folders


If you want to use Varun's ROBOCOPY command line in the Explorer context menu (i.e. right-click) here is a Windows registry import. I tried adding this as a comment to his answer, but the inline markup wasn't feasible.

I've tested this on my own Windows 10 PC, but use at your own risk. It will open a new command prompt, run the command, and pause so you can see the output.

  1. Copy into a new text file:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\directory\Background\shell\Delete Empty Folders\command] @="C:\Windows\System32\Cmd.exe /C \"C:\Windows\System32\Robocopy.exe \"%V\" \"%V\" /s /move\" && PAUSE"

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\directory\shell\Delete Empty Folders\command] @="C:\Windows\System32\Cmd.exe /C \"C:\Windows\System32\Robocopy.exe \"%V\" \"%V\" /s /move\" && PAUSE"

  2. Rename the .txt extension to .reg

  3. Double click to import.

well, just a quick and dirty suggestion for simple 1-level directory structure without spaces, [edit] and for directories containing only ONE type of files that I found useful (at some point from http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/can-check-if-folder-empty-bat-file-t1468868.html):

for /f %a in ('dir /ad/b') do if not exist %a\*.xml echo %a Empty

/ad : shows only directory entries
/b : use bare format (just names)

[edit] using plain asterisk to check for ANY file (%a\* above) won't work, thanks for correction

therefore, deleting would be:

for /f %a in ('dir /ad/b') do if not exist %a\*.xml rmdir %a

You don't need usebackq:

FOR /F delims^= %%A IN ('DIR/AD/B/S^|SORT/R') DO RD "%%A"

from the command line: for /R /D %1 in (*) do rd "%1"

in a batch file for /R /D %%1 in (*) do rd "%%1"

I don't know if it's documented as such, but it works in W2K, XP, and Win 7. And I don't know if it will always work, but it won't ever delete files by accident.


This can be easily done by using rd command with two parameters:

rd <folder> /Q /S
  • /Q - Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to remove a directory tree with /S

  • /S - Removes all directories and files in the specified directory in addition to the directory itself. Used to remove a directory tree.


@echo off
set /p "ipa= ENTER FOLDER NAME TO DELETE> "
set ipad="%ipa%"
IF not EXIST %ipad% GOTO notfound
IF EXIST %ipad% GOTO found
:found
echo DONOT CLOSE THIS WINDOW
md ccooppyy
xcopy %ipad%\*.* ccooppyy /s > NUL
rd %ipad% /s /q
ren ccooppyy %ipad%
cls
echo SUCCESS, PRESS ANY KEY TO EXIT
pause > NUL
exit 
:notfound
echo I COULDN'T FIND THE FOLDER %ipad%
pause
exit

Install any UNIX interpreter for windows (Cygwin or Git Bash) and run the cmd:

find /path/to/directory -empty -type d

To find them

find /path/to/directory -empty -type d -delete

To delete them

(not really using the windows cmd prompt but it's easy and took few seconds to run)


It will be worked fine. This is best way to delete old files and remove empty directories recursively. following .bat file is,

forfiles /p [PATH] /s /m [FILE-PATTERN] /d -[DAYS] /c "cmd /c del @path"
for /f "delims=" %%d in ('dir [PATH] /s /b /ad ^| sort /r') do rd "%%d"

The placeholders needs to be replaced as follows (without the quotation marks):

[DAYS] = Max. age of the files in days, e.g. “10”
[PATH] = Path to search for old files and empty folders, e.g. “C:\Backup\”
[FILE-PATTERN] = Pattern that matches files to delete, e.g. “*.bkp”

The script has been successfully tested under Windows 7 and Windows Server 2003.


This is a hybird of the above. It removes ALL files older than X days and removes any empty folders for the given path. To use simply set the days, folderpath and drive

@echo off
SETLOCAL
set days=30
set folderpath=E:\TEST\
set drive=E:

::Delete files
forfiles -p %folderpath% -s -d -%days% -c "cmd /c del /q @path "

::Delete folders
cd %folderpath%
%drive%
for /f "usebackq delims=" %%d in (`"dir /ad/b/s | sort /R"`) do rd "%%d"`

Adding to corroded answer from the same referenced page is a PowerShell version http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2008/04/17/8399914.aspx#8408736

Get-ChildItem -Recurse . | where { $_.PSISContainer -and @( $_ | Get-ChildItem ).Count -eq 0 } | Remove-Item

or, more tersely,

gci -R . | where { $_.PSISContainer -and @( $_ | gci ).Count -eq 0 } | ri

credit goes to the posting author


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