Deletes a directory.

The rd command can also run from the Windows Recovery Console, using different parameters. For more information, see Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).


This command is the same as the rmdir command.


rd [<drive>:]<path> [/s [/q]]


Parameter Description
[<drive>:]<path> Specifies the location and the name of the directory that you want to delete. Path is required. If you include a backslash () at the beginning of the specified path, then the path starts at the root directory (regardless of the current directory).
/s Deletes a directory tree (the specified directory and all its subdirectories, including all files).
/q Specifies quiet mode. Does not prompt for confirmation when deleting a directory tree. The /q parameter works only if /s is also specified.

CAUTION: When you run in quiet mode, the entire directory tree is deleted without confirmation. Make sure that important files are moved or backed up before using the /q command-line option.

/? Displays help at the command prompt.


  • You can't delete a directory that contains files, including hidden or system files. If you attempt to do so, the following message appears:

    The directory is not empty

    Use the dir /a command to list all files (including hidden and system files). Then use the attrib command with -h to remove hidden file attributes, -s to remove system file attributes, or -h -s to remove both hidden and system file attributes. After the hidden and file attributes have been removed, you can delete the files.

  • You can't use the rd command to delete the current directory. If you attempt to delete the current directory, the following error message appears:

    The process can't access the file because it is being used by another process.

    If you receive this error message, you must change to a different directory (not a subdirectory of the current directory), and then try again.


To change to the parent directory so you can safely remove the desired directory, type:

cd ..

To remove a directory named test (and all its subdirectories and files) from the current directory, type:

rd /s test

To run the previous example in quiet mode, type:

rd /s /q test