MS-DOS Commands :: del (or erase)


Warning: This command is for advanced users only!

Deletes one or more files. The specified file (or files) is deleted immediately deleted without any confirmation.

Tip: It is recommended that you delete files using Windows rather than MS-DOS. If you do use the del command, it is recommeded that you use the /p parameter so that a confirmation prompt is displayed before doing the deletion, such as: del /? *.txt

Danger: Do not delete anything unless you know exactly what you are doing. MS-DOS does not have a "Recycle Bin" so you cannot recover files deleted with the "del" command.

Danger: The character * (an asterisk) is the wildcard character and allows you to delete all matching files by using one command, such as "del *.tmp" deletes all files that end with ".tmp" in their filename. All matching files are immediately deleted without any confirmation and cannot be recovered.

Danger: It is extremely dangerous to use "del *" since that would delete everything in the directory. In this one case, MS-DOS realizes the danger and prompts you to confirm.

help del

Deletes one or more files.

DEL [/P] [/F] [/S] [/Q] [/A[[:]attributes]] names
ERASE [/P] [/F] [/S] [/Q] [/A[[:]attributes]] names

  names         Specifies a list of one or more files or directories.
                Wildcards may be used to delete multiple files. If a
                directory is specified, all files within the directory
                will be deleted.

  /P            Prompts for confirmation before deleting each file.
  /F            Force deleting of read-only files.
  /S            Delete specified files from all subdirectories.
  /Q            Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to delete on global wildcard
  /A            Selects files to delete based on attributes
  attributes    R  Read-only files            S  System files
                H  Hidden files               A  Files ready for archiving
                -  Prefix meaning not

If Command Extensions are enabled DEL and ERASE change as follows:

The display semantics of the /S switch are reversed in that it shows
you only the files that are deleted, not the ones it could not find.

(Enlarge: help del)