Home » How to delete directories with path/names too long for normal delete

How to delete directories with path/names too long for normal delete


Use the 7-Zip File Manager to delete them.

If you are still having trouble, ensure that you utilize Shift+Delete inside the 7-Zip File Manager. Otherwise, Windows tries to move them to the Recycle Bin (which will fail again).

None of the other (free) answers here worked for me, but I found one on another site:

rimraf <dir>

rimraf is a Node.js package, so you will need to install Node.js which includes npm. Then you can run:

npm install -g rimraf

Then you can run rimraf from the command line.

I found this solution because npm itself was causing this problem due to the way it nests dependencies.

By the way, rimraf gets its name from the UNIX command rm -rf, which recursively deletes files and folders.

There is no need to install any program for solving this issue.

This issue is easily solved using robocopy, preinstalled since Windows Vista, launched in 2006.

For example, rmdir /S /Q <dir> has been reported to fail in some cases. There is no need to use 7zip or any other 3rd party tool. Powershell is an overkill. Cygwin may work, but you may not have it installed. So, let’s focus on robocopy

The idea is to

  1. use robocopy to copy+updated
  2. from a new empty folder
  3. to the folder you want to delete, the target.

After executing robocopy, the target directory would be empty as well.

These instructions are for the command line. Just open the search in Windows, type cmd and hit Enter.

Let’s say the target for deletion is:

C:deletethis folderwith a very long name

We proceed as follow:

  1. First create an empty directory, f.i. C:emptyfolder.

    mkdir C:emptyfolder
  2. Copy+update from the empty directory to the target, using the option /purge

    robocopy c:emptyfolder "C:deletethis folderwith a very long name" /purge
  3. Delete the empty directory. You don’t need it anymore.

    rmdir c:emptyfolder

Since there are no files or folders in the source directory (C:emptyfolder), it simply deletes the files and folders under the target directory (C:deletethis folderwith a very long name) recursively!

  • Final trick: you can avoid writing by hand

    C:deletethis folderwith a very long name

    By dragging the folder from an Explorer window and dropping in the Terminal/cmd window.

Be careful: The deleted files will not go to the trash folder! Once deleted, the files cannot be recovered.

(Taken from “Path too long? Use Robocopy” by BVLANGEN)

PS: I realize this answer was here, less didactically. How to delete a file in Windows with a too long filename? [duplicate]

Benoit added:

You may need to go through this process more than once to get rid of all of the files.

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