Windows – How to recursively delete an entire directory with PowerShell 2.0


What is the simplest way to forcefully delete a directory and all its subdirectories in PowerShell? I am using PowerShell V2 in Windows 7.

I have learned from several sources that the most obvious command, Remove-Item $targetDir -Recurse -Force, does not work correctly. This includes a statement in the PowerShell V2 online help (found using Get-Help Remove-Item -Examples) that states:

…Because the Recurse parameter in this cmdlet is faulty, the command uses the Get-Childitem cmdlet to get the desired files, and it uses the pipeline operator to pass them to the Remove-Item cmdlet…

I have seen various examples that use Get-ChildItem and pipe it to Remove-Item, but the examples usually remove some set of files based on a filter, not the entire directory.

I am looking for the cleanest way to blow out an entire directory, files and child directories, without generating any user warning messages using the least amount of code. A one-liner would be nice if it is easy to understand.

Best Solution

Remove-Item -Recurse -Force some_dir

does indeed work as advertised here.

rm -r -fo some_dir

are shorthand aliases that work too.

As far as I understood it, the -Recurse parameter just doesn't work correctly when you try deleting a filtered set of files recursively. For killing a single dir and everything below it seems to work fine.