What Is the Alternative to Rm in Cmd?


When it comes to managing files and directories in the Windows Command Prompt (CMD), the ‘rm’ command often comes to mind. However, what if we told you that there are alternatives to ‘rm’ that can help you achieve the same goals with added flexibility and safety? In this article, we’ll explore various alternatives to ‘rm’ in CMD, providing you with valuable insights, practical tips, and answers to frequently asked questions.

What is the alternative to rm in CMD?

If you’re looking for alternatives to the ‘rm’ command in CMD, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve compiled a list of alternative commands and techniques to help you manage files and directories effectively.

1. delUse the ‘del’ command to delete files in CMD.
2. rmdirThe ‘rmdir’ command removes directories in CMD.
3. PowerShellConsider using PowerShell for advanced file management tasks.
4. File ExplorerUtilize the graphical File Explorer for a user-friendly approach.
5. RobocopyUse ‘Robocopy’ for copying and deleting files and directories efficiently.
6. Shift + DeleteBypass the Recycle Bin and delete files permanently using ‘Shift + Delete’.
7. Third-party ToolsExplore third-party software for additional features and convenience.

Now, let’s delve deeper into each of these alternatives.

1. del

The ‘del’ command is a straightforward alternative to ‘rm’ in CMD. It allows you to delete files with ease. To remove a file, simply open CMD and type:

del filename

Replace ‘filename’ with the name of the file you want to delete. This command is quick and efficient for removing individual files.

2. rmdir

When it comes to deleting directories, the ‘rmdir’ command is your go-to option. To delete a directory and its contents, use the following command:

rmdir /s /q directory_name

Replace ‘directory_name’ with the name of the directory you want to delete. The ‘/s’ flag indicates that the directory and its subdirectories should be deleted, while the ‘/q’ flag suppresses confirmation prompts.

3. PowerShell

For more advanced file management tasks, PowerShell is a powerful alternative. It provides a wide range of cmdlets for managing files and directories. To remove a file using PowerShell, you can use the ‘Remove-Item’ cmdlet:

Remove-Item -Path C:\path\to\file.txt

4. File Explorer

If you prefer a user-friendly approach, Windows File Explorer is an excellent choice. Simply open File Explorer, navigate to the file or directory you want to delete, right-click, and select ‘Delete.’ This method is perfect for those who prefer a graphical interface.

5. Robocopy

Robocopy, short for “Robust File Copy,” is a command-line tool that excels at copying and deleting files and directories efficiently. While its primary function is copying, it can also be used to move or delete files. Here’s an example of using Robocopy to delete a directory:

robocopy /s /mir empty_folder_name folder_to_delete

Replace ’empty_folder_name’ with an empty directory, and ‘folder_to_delete’ with the directory you want to delete.

6. Shift + Delete

When you want to permanently delete a file without sending it to the Recycle Bin, simply select the file and press ‘Shift + Delete.’ This action bypasses the Recycle Bin, ensuring the file is deleted immediately.

7. Third-party Tools

For added features and convenience, consider exploring third-party file management tools such as CCleaner, Total Commander, or FileZilla. These tools often offer advanced options and a user-friendly interface.


Can I recover files deleted using these alternatives?

It’s challenging to recover files deleted with ‘del’ or ‘Shift + Delete.’ However, third-party tools may offer recovery options. Always back up essential data to prevent loss.

Is PowerShell suitable for beginners?

PowerShell can be complex for beginners, but it offers powerful capabilities. Start with basic commands and gradually explore advanced features.

Are there alternatives for Mac or Linux?

Yes, Mac and Linux have their own file management commands like ‘rm’ and ‘rmdir.’ Research the specific commands for your operating system.

Are third-party tools safe to use?

Reputable third-party tools are generally safe, but exercise caution when downloading software. Stick to trusted sources and read reviews.

What’s the most efficient way to delete multiple files?

Use wildcards with ‘del’ to delete multiple files at once. For example, ‘del *.txt’ deletes all text files in a directory.

Can I undo a delete operation?

CMD does not provide a built-in “undo” feature. Regularly back up important files to avoid data loss.

What is the alternative to rm in CMD?

The alternative to “rm” in CMD (Command Prompt) is the “del” command.

What is a safer alternative to rm *?

A safer alternative to “rm *” is using the “rm -i *” command, which prompts for confirmation before deleting each file.


In the world of CMD, alternatives to the ‘rm’ command offer flexibility, safety, and ease of use. Whether you choose ‘del,’ ‘rmdir,’ PowerShell, or other methods, understanding these alternatives empowers you to manage your files and directories efficiently. Remember to exercise caution when deleting files and always back up important data.

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