How to force delete a folder windows 10

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2024 by

Are you struggling to delete a stubborn folder on your Windows 10 computer? You’re not alone. Many users encounter issues when trying to delete folders, especially if they contain large files or are corrupted. But don’t worry, there are ways to force delete a folder on Windows 10. In this article, we’ll explore different methods to help you successfully delete that pesky folder and keep your files organized.

Why Is It Difficult to Delete Folders on Windows 10?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first understand why it can be challenging to delete folders on Windows 10.

File Organization

Windows 10 has a complex file system that allows for a variety of file organization options. This can make it difficult to delete folders, especially if they contain multiple subfolders and files. The system may also prevent you from deleting a folder if it is being used by another program or if it is a system folder that is essential for the operating system to function properly.

Corrupted Files

Another common issue is corrupted files within the folder you are trying to delete. These files may be damaged or locked, preventing you from deleting the entire folder. In this case, you will need to identify and remove the corrupted files before you can successfully delete the folder.

How to Force Delete a Folder on Windows 10

Now that we understand the potential reasons for difficulty in deleting folders on Windows 10, let’s explore some solutions to help you force delete that stubborn folder.

Method 1: Use Command Prompt

One of the most effective ways to force delete a folder on Windows 10 is by using Command Prompt. Here’s how:

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing “cmd” in the search bar and selecting “Run as administrator” from the right-click menu.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, navigate to the location of the folder you want to delete by using the “cd” command. For example, if the folder is located on your desktop, type “cd desktop” and press Enter.
  3. Once you are in the correct location, type “rd /s /q foldername” and press Enter. Replace “foldername” with the name of the folder you want to delete.
  4. The command will force delete the folder and all its contents. You should see a message saying “The directory is not empty” and asking if you want to force delete the folder. Type “y” and press Enter to confirm.
  5. The folder should now be deleted. You can verify by checking the location in File Explorer.

Method 2: Use Safe Mode

If the folder you are trying to delete is being used by another program, you can try deleting it in Safe Mode. Here’s how:

  1. Restart your computer and press F8 repeatedly until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select “Safe Mode” and press Enter.
  3. Once your computer has booted into Safe Mode, try deleting the folder again.
  4. If the folder is still not deleted, try using Command Prompt in Safe Mode by following the steps outlined in Method 1.

Method 3: Use a Third-Party Software

If the above methods do not work, you can try using a third-party software designed to force delete stubborn folders on Windows 10. Some popular options include Unlocker, IObit Unlocker, and LockHunter. These programs can help you identify and remove any locked or corrupted files within the folder, allowing you to successfully delete it.

Tips to Avoid Issues When Deleting Folders on Windows 10

To prevent future issues when deleting folders on Windows 10, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Close All Programs

Before attempting to delete a folder, make sure to close all programs that may be using files within the folder. This will prevent any conflicts and make it easier to delete the folder.

Check for Corrupted Files

If you encounter issues when trying to delete a folder, check for any corrupted files within the folder. You can use a third-party software or run a system scan to identify and remove any corrupted files.

Use File Explorer

If you are not comfortable using Command Prompt or third-party software, you can try deleting the folder using File Explorer. Right-click on the folder and select “Properties”. Under the “General” tab, uncheck the box next to “Read-only” and click “Apply”. This will remove any restrictions on the folder and allow you to delete it.

Empty the Recycle Bin

If you are trying to delete a folder that was previously moved to the Recycle Bin, make sure to empty the Recycle Bin before attempting to delete the folder again. The folder may still be in use by the Recycle Bin, preventing you from deleting it.


Deleting folders on Windows 10 can be a frustrating experience, but with the right methods and tips, you can successfully force delete stubborn folders. Remember to always check for corrupted files and close all programs before attempting to delete a folder. If all else fails, you can use third-party software to help you remove the folder. By following these tips, you can keep your files organized and maintain a clutter-free computer.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.

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