Windows 11 and 10: how to force delete a folder

How to

Is there something preventing me from deleting a folder? Here is how to forcibly delete a folder in Windows 11 and 10 operating systems.

To delete a folder in Windows, select the folder with the mouse pointer and press the “Delete” key on the keyboard. If you want to delete the folder completely, press the “Shift + Delete” keys. This will save you the trouble of moving the folder to the Recycle Bin.

Deleting a folder is easy, but not always. Windows may refuse to delete a folder even after you press the Delete key. You may also receive an error message while deleting a folder.

Errors that occur while trying to delete a folder include “This item cannot be found,” “This folder is locked,” “Permissions are required to perform this operation,” “This operation could not be completed because this folder or the files in it are open in another program,” “The operation could not be completed becauseThis operation could not be completed because this folder or the files in it are open in another program,” “Unexpected error preventing deletion of this folder,” and so on, but that is not all.

In such cases, you need to force delete the folder in Windows. Forcibly deleting folders can help remove stubborn folders from your system.

The good news is that it is very easy to force delete a folder in Windows. There are several ways to do this.

Here is how to do it without delay in a few simple steps.

The following procedure works the same in Windows 10 and 11.


Important Note: Force deleting a folder may result in data loss if the folder has files in use.files in use in the folder, there is a possibility of data loss. Therefore, please be careful.

Force Delete Folder in Windows

You can force delete a folder using the command prompt in Windows OS. Simply type the force delete command and point it at the folder you want to delete. Here is how to do it.

  1. Right click on the Start menu.
  2. Launch the application ” Windows Terminal (Admin) “.
  3. Select ” Command Prompt ” from the drop-down menu on the title bar.
  4. Enter bottom command . Replace the dummy folder path with the actual path.
    rmdir /s /q "D:\Path\To\Folder"
  5. The specified folder will be immediately force deleted .
  6. Close the terminal window.

Detailed instructions:

First, the “Terminal” application must be started. Right click on the Start menu and select “Windows Terminal (Administrator)”. Alternatively, find “Windows Terminal” in the Start menu and select “Run as administrator”.

Next, click on the drop-down menu in the Terminal title bar and select the “Command Prompt” option.

At the command prompt, replace the dummy folder path with the actual folder and execute the following command.


After executing the command, Windows will force delete the folder. You can now safely close the terminal window.

Force Delete Folder Using Unlocker

If the folder is locked or in use, you will need to use special third-party Unlocker software. It automatically terminates processes that violate the rule and forcibly deletes the folder.

This is excellent software to deal with annoying errors encountered when deleting folders, such as access denied, folder in use, or folder cannot be deleted.

First, download the Unlocker app from the link shown below.

Once the app is downloaded, double click to install.

Once the Unlocker app is installed, launch the app from the Start menu. As soon as you do so, you will be prompted to select the folder you wish to delete. Select the folder you wish to delete and press the “OK” button.

Select “Delete” from the drop-down menu and press the “OK” button.

Only after doing this will Unlocker force the folder to be deleted. The application will also display a confirmation dialog saying that the object has been deleted.

That’s all. It is as simple as forcibly deleting a folder in Windows.

We hope this brief guide to working with Windows is helpful.

If you get stuck or need help, send us an email and we will do our best to help.

YouTube video: Windows 11 and 10: How to Force Delete a Folder

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