How to force delete a folder in Windows 10 and 11


Having trouble deleting a folder from your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC? If so, it may be a system folder or a folder used by other applications. We will show you how to successfully delete “undeleteable” folders on your computer.

RELATED: How to delete, move or rename locked files in Windows

Reasons why you can’t delete a folder in Windows

The most common reason you can’t delete a folder is that your folder is a Windows system folder. In this case, the system prevents you from deleting the folder as it may make your PC unstable.

If you’re sure yours isn’t a system folder, it’s possible that your installed apps are using your “undeleteable” folder. When an application is using a folder, Windows prevents it from making changes to that folder. In this case, you can close the app using its folder and then try to delete the folder.

If your case does not match any of the above scenarios, you may want to use one of the following methods to force your folder to be deleted.

Method 1: Use Command Prompt

A quick way to force the deletion of a folder is to use the command prompt. You can run a command from this tool that deletes the selected folder.

To do that, first, open your “Start” menu and search for “Command Prompt”. Then in the right pane, click “Run as administrator”.


You will see a “User Account Control” prompt. Select “Yes”.

When the command prompt opens, type the following command and press Enter. In this command, replace PATH with the path to the folder you want to delete.

Advice: If your path has spaces, enclose the path in double quotes.

rmdir /s /q PATH

For example, to delete a folder named Unwanted in the Documents folder in your C drive, you would use the following command.

Warning: The command permanently deletes your folder, so make sure you really want to do it.

rmdir /s /q C:DocumentsUnwanted

Type the command and press Enter.

The specified folder is now removed from your Windows PC and you are all set.

Method 2 – Boot into Windows Safe Mode

If you are not sure which app has hijacked your folder so that you cannot delete it, restart your PC in safe mode and then try to delete the folder. In safe mode, your PC only loads essential Windows files, which prevents third-party applications from starting automatically.

To use this method, first start your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC in safe mode using our guide.

Once you are in safe mode, launch File Explorer and locate the folder to delete. Then right-click on this folder and choose “Delete”.

Your folder is now deleted.

You may also want to delete the folder from the Recycle Bin, which you can do by opening the Recycle Bin, right-clicking on your folder, and selecting “Delete.”

And that’s all there is to it to get rid of stubborn folders on your PC. Enjoy!

Method 3: Use third-party software

If your folder is still not deleted, there is a free third-party app called Unlocker that can help you delete your folders. This app basically unlocks your folder from any locks because it cannot be deleted, and then allows you to finally get rid of the folder.

To use this method, first, download and install the free Unlocker app on your PC. Then launch the newly installed app.

In the main Unlocker window, choose the folder to delete. Then, at the bottom, click “OK”.

On the screen that follows, click the dropdown menu and select “Delete.” Then click “OK”.

Unlocker will unlock your folder and remove it from your PC. Are you ready.

Method 4 – Use WinRAR to Force Delete Folders

This may sound strange, but you can use WinRAR (a file compression application) to remove your stubborn folders. The way this works is that you create a file from your “undeleteable” folder and then ask the app to delete the original folder after creating the file.

That way, when WinRAR has created an archive from your folder, it will delete the original folder. You can then also delete the newly created file.

To do that, first, grab the free version of WinRAR and install it on your PC. Then restart your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC for WinRAR to integrate with its context menu.

When your PC turns back on, open File Explorer and find the folder to delete. Then right-click on this folder and choose “Add to Archive”.

In the “Archive name and parameters” window, in the “Archive options” section, enable the “Delete files after archiving” option. Then, at the bottom of the window, select “OK”.

Let WinRAR create an archive from the selected folder. When finished, WinRAR will delete the original folder. At this point you can now delete your newly created file.

And this is how you are going to rid your Windows PC of any unwanted and stubborn folders. Very useful!

While you’re at it, consider clearing your Windows PC’s cache to get rid of unwanted files from your storage.

RELATED: How to clear your cache in Windows 11