MS-DOS and Windows command line rd and rmdir commands

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope
rmdir command

The rd and rmdir commands are used to remove empty directories in MS-DOS. To delete directories with files or directories within them, you must use the deltree command. If you are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP, use the /S option.

Availability

Rd and rmdir are internal commands that are available in the following Microsoft operating systems.

Rd and rmdir syntax

Windows XP and later syntax

RMDIR [/S] [/Q] [drive:]path
RD [/S] [/Q] [drive:]path

/S Removes all directories and files in the specified directory in addition to the directory itself. It is used to remove a directory tree.
/Q Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to remove a directory tree with /S.

Windows 95, 98, and ME syntax

Removes (deletes) a directory.

RMDIR [drive:]path
RD [drive:]path

Rd and rmdir examples

rmdir c:\full

If a directory contains files or folders, you will receive "The directory is not empty." error message if you try to use rd or rmdir. If you want to delete directories that are full, use the deltree command or if you're using Windows 2000 or later, use the example code below with the /s switch.

rmdir c:\test

Remove the test directory, if it is empty.

rmdir c:\test /s

Windows 2000, Windows XP and later versions of Windows can use this option with a prompt to permanently delete the test directory, as well as subdirectories and files. Adding the /q switch would suppress the prompt.

Additional information

  • See our directory and remove definitions for further information and related links on these terms.