How to Force Delete a Folder on Windows 10 and 11

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When folders go clingy, this is what you do!

\ drive. Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Key Takeaways

  • Typically you cannot delete a files because it is successful usage by an app, aliases it is simply a Windows folder. If neither of those apply, you whitethorn beryllium capable to forcibly delete it.
  • To delete a files pinch Command Prompt, tally Command Prompt arsenic an Admin, past run: rmdir /s /q PATH/TO/FOLDER
  • Try booting into Safe Mode to minimize nan chances of a programme utilizing nan files you want to delete, past effort deleting it again.

Are you having trouble deleting a folder from your Windows 10 aliases Windows 11 PC? If so, that whitethorn beryllium a strategy files aliases a files being utilized by different apps. We'll show you really to successfully delete "undeletable" folders connected your computer.

Why You Can't Delete a Folder connected Windows?

The astir communal logic you can't delete a files is that your files is simply a Windows strategy folder. In this case, nan strategy prevents you from removing nan files arsenic it tin make your PC unstable.

If you're judge yours is not a strategy folder, past your "undeletable" files whitethorn beryllium successful usage by your installed apps. When a files is being utilized by an app, Windows prevents you from making changes to that folder. In this case, you tin close nan app utilizing your files and past effort to delete nan folder.

If your lawsuit doesn't lucifer either of nan supra scenarios, you whitethorn want to usage 1 of nan pursuing methods to unit region your folder.

Use Command Prompt to Remove Write Protecion

One speedy measurement to force delete a files is to usage Command Prompt. You tin tally a bid from this instrumentality that deletes your selected folder.

To do that, first, unfastened your "Start" paper and hunt for "Command Prompt". Then, connected nan correct pane, click "Run arsenic Administrator."


You'll spot a "User Account Control" prompt. Select "Yes."

When Command Prompt opens, type nan pursuing bid and property Enter. In this command, switch PATH pinch nan way to nan files you want to delete.

If your way has spaces successful it, enclose nan way pinch double quotes.

rmdir /s /q PATH

For example, to delete a files named Unwanted successful nan Documents files connected your C drive, you'd usage nan pursuing command.

The bid permanently deletes your folder, truthful make judge you really want to do that.

rmdir /s /q C:\Documents\Unwanted
Type nan bid and property Enter.

The specified files is now removed from your Windows PC, and you're each set.

Boot Windows into Safe Mode to Delete a Folder

If you aren't judge what app has hijacked your files truthful you can't delete it, reboot your PC successful safe mode and past effort to delete nan folder. In safe mode, your PC only loads nan basal Windows files, preventing immoderate third-party apps from automatically launching.

To usage this method, first, footwear your Windows 10 aliases Windows 11 PC successful safe mode utilizing our guide.

Once you're successful safe mode, launch File Explorer and find nan files to delete. Then, right-click this files and take "Delete."

Right-click nan files and prime

Your files is now deleted.

You whitethorn want to remove nan files from Recycle Bin arsenic well, which you tin do by opening nan Recycle Bin, right-clicking your folder, and choosing "Delete."

Right-click nan files and take

And that's each location is to getting free of stubborn folders connected your PC. Enjoy!

Use Third-Party Software to Delete Folders

If your files still won't delete, there's a free third-party app called Unlocker that tin thief you region your folders. This app fundamentally unlocks your files from immoderate locks owed to which it can't beryllium deleted, and past allows you to yet get free of nan folder.

To usage this method, first, download and instal nan free Unlocker app connected your PC. Then motorboat nan recently installed app.

On Unlocker's main window, take nan files to delete. Then, astatine nan bottom, click "OK."

Select nan unwanted folder, past click

On nan surface that follows, click nan drop-down paper and prime "Delete." Then click "OK."


Unlocker will unlock your files and delete it from your PC. You're each done.

Use WinRAR to Force Remove Folders

This mightiness sound unusual but you tin usage WinRAR (a record compression app) to delete your stubborn folders. The measurement this useful is that you create an archive retired of your "undeletable" files and past inquire nan app to delete nan original files aft nan archive is made.

That way, erstwhile WinRAR has created an archive from your folder, it deletes nan original folder. You tin past delete nan newly-created archive arsenic well.

To do that, first, drawback nan free type of WinRAR and instal it connected your PC. Then restart your Windows 10 aliases Windows 11 PC truthful WinRAR integrates pinch your discourse menu.

When your PC turns backmost on, open File Explorer and find nan files to delete. Then right-click this files and take "Add to Archive."

Right-click nan files and take

On nan "Archive Name and Parameters" window, successful nan "Archiving Options" section, alteration nan "Delete Files After Archiving" option. Then, astatine nan bottommost of nan window, prime "OK."


Let WinRAR make an archive from your selected folder. When that's done, WinRAR will region nan original folder. At this point, you whitethorn now delete your recently created archive.

And that's really you spell astir ridding your Windows PC of immoderate unwanted and stubborn folders. Very useful!

While you're astatine it, see clearing your Windows PC's cache to get free of unwanted files from your storage.

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