Microsoft DOS rd and rmdir command

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

About rd and rmdir

Removes an empty directory in MS-DOS. To delete directories with files or directories within them, you must use the deltree command, or if you are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP use the /S option.


The rd and rmdir commands are internal commands and are available in the below 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. 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 when attempting to delete the directory, you will receive "The directory is not empty." error message. 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 below with the /s switch.

rmdir c:\test

Remove the test directory, if 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 and all 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.