Delete a directory

From CodeCodex

Revision as of 16:48, 1 June 2007 by (Talk)



    // Delete an empty directory
    boolean success = (new File("directoryName")).delete();
    if (!success) {
        // Deletion failed

If the directory is not empty, it is necessary to first recursively delete all files and subdirectories in the directory. Here is a method that will delete a non-empty directory.

    // Deletes all files and subdirectories under dir.
    // Returns true if all deletions were successful.
    // If a deletion fails, the method stops attempting to delete and returns false.
    public static boolean deleteDir(File dir) {
        if (dir.isDirectory()) {
            String[] children = dir.list();
            for (int i=0; i<children.length; i++) {
                boolean success = deleteDir(new File(dir, children[i]));
                if (!success) {
                    return false;
        // The directory is now empty so delete it
        return dir.delete();


<HIGHLIGHTSYNTAX language="python">

  1. empty dir:

import os os.rmdir(ourdir)

  1. not-so-emtpy dir:

import shutil shutil.rmtree(ourdir) </HIGHLIGHTSYNTAX>