Deletes the one or more files you specify.
DEL [drive:][path]filename [/A[[:]attributes]] [/F] [/P] [/Q] [/S]
ERASE [drive:][path]filename [/A[[:]attributes]] [/F] [/P] [/Q] [/S]
For information about retrieving a deleted file, see the
For information about removing a directory, see the RMDIR command.
For information about deleting a directory, its files, and all subdirectories and files subordinate to it, see the DELTREE command.
The resource kit utility rm.exe will sometimes delete files where DEL fails
If you use the /P switch, DEL displays the name of a file and prompts you with a message in the format:
filename, Delete (Y/N)?
Press Y to confirm the deletion, N to cancel the deletion and display the next filename (if you specified a group of files), or CRTL+C to stop the DEL command.
You can delete all the files in a directory by typing the DEL command followed by [drive:]path. You can also use wildcards (* and ?) to delete more than one file at a time. However, you should use wildcards cautiously with the DEL command to avoid deleting files unintentionally. Suppose you type:
DEL displays the prompt:
All files in directory will be deleted! Are you sure (Y/N)?
Press Y and then ENTER to delete all files in the current directory, or press N and then ENTER to cancel the deletion.
Before you use wildcards with the DEL command to delete a group of files, you can use the same wildcards with the DIR command to see a list of the names of all the files included in the group.
CAUTION: Once you delete a file from your disk, you may not be able to retrieve it. Although the UNDELETE command can retrieve deleted files, it can do so with certainty only if no other files have been created or changed on the disk. If you accidentally delete a file that you want to keep, stop what you are doing and immediately use the UNDELETE command to retrieve the file.
For more information on undeleting files, see the chapter "Managing Your System" in the DOS User's Guide.
DEL was allowed as an abbreviation since v1.1
To delete the CAT.TMP file from the TEST directory on drive C, you can use either of:
DEL C:\TEST\CAT.TMP ERASE C:\TEST\CAT.TMP
To delete all the files in a directory named TEST on drive C, you can use either of:
DEL C:\TEST DEL C:\TEST\*.*