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Final Uninstaller Support / Knowledge Base / How to Delete Files and Folders Manually

How to Delete Files and Folders Manually

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Each application consists of files. Uninstall an application often means deleting all its files and folders. There are many ways to delete files and folders in Windows. This step-by-step article will guide you through the processes.

Warning: Manually deleting files and folders is difficult and risky. If you delete the wrong files or folders, your computer may crash and important data may be lost. Before you start, always be sure to back up your PC important files and set a System Restore point (click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore, and follow the on-screen instructions) or run Final Uninstaller, a trusted uninstaller software, to automatically delete unwanted files and folders.

Table Of Contents

Navigating to the Unwanted Files and Deleting Them

    Let's assume you know the exact location of the unwanted files. In such case you can use Windows Explorer or My Computer to navigate to the file or folder you wish to delete.

  1. Navigate to the file or folder that you would like to delete.
    • Using Windows Explorer: Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
    • Using My Computer: double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop.

  2. Right-click on the files that you want to delete and select Delete. Otherwise, you can select the files and press the button on your keyboard.
    delete files

  3. A window will then popup asking for confirmation to send the file or folder to the Recycle Bin. Click to move the file to the recycle bin or to keep the file where it is.
    confirm file delete

Finding Files with File Search Tool and Deleting Them

    If you don't know the exact location of the unwanted files but you know the file name or at least a part of it. In such case you can use File Search Tool to locate the file and delete it.

  1. Click on the button and then select the Search option.
    start search

  2. In the Search Companion dialog box, click All files and folders.
    search companion

  3. You have several preferences under All files and folders. Type part or the entire name of the file or folder, or type a word or phrase that is in the file. In the Look in box, click on the down arrow to show the drive or drives, folder, or network location that you can search. And then select one, for example, My Computer.
    search companion
    If you want to perform a more sophisticated search, choose one of the following options:

    • Click When was it modified to look for files that were created or modified on or between specific dates.
    • Click What size is it to look for files that are specific size.
    • Click More advanced options to specify additional search criteria. For example, the Search companion does not search for hidden files by default. If the files you want to delete remain invisible, you may be unable to find them, even though they exist on the drive. To search them, click More advanced options and place a check mark next to the Search hidden files and folders box.
      search hidden files and folders

  4. Click on the button to start the search.

  5. When the search finishes, you will see all of the files and folders that are related to the file you search for on the right side of the Search Results window. Right-click on the files that you want to delete and select Delete. Otherwise, you can select the files and press the button on your keyboard.
    delete files

  6. A window will then popup asking for confirmation to send the file or folder to the Recycle Bin. Click to move the file to the recycle bin or to keep the file where it is.
    confirm folder delete

Using the Command Prompt to Delete Files or Folders

    Note: When deleting files or folders from the command prompt, the deleted files/folders do not go into the Recycle Bin but are permanently removed.
  1. Open a Command Prompt

    There are two conventional ways to start a Command Prompt:
    • Click on the button, select the Run... option, type "cmd" in the blank field and then click on the button.

      open Command Prompt

    • Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt

      start Command Prompt

  2. Deleting files with the "del" command.

    • First locate the file that you want to delete. Type the command "cd [directoryname]" and press to go to the directory that contains the unwanted file. For example, if you want to go to directory Program Files\FinalUninstaller, you would type cd Program Files\FinalUninstaller and press
      using cd to locate folder

      If you were already deep in another directory (for example C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator) and then wanted to move directly to Program Files\FinalUninstaller then you can put in an initial backwards slash: cd\Program Files\FinalUninstaller. This tells the command to go to the root of the drive, then to the directory Program Files\FinalUninstaller.
      using cd command to locate folder

      If you were on another drive, you should first move to the drive that contains the directory and then use the "cd" command. Type "[drive letter]:" and press . For example, if you want to go from C:\ to E:\, you would type E: and press
      change drive

    • Type the command "del [filename]" and press to delete the file. For example, if you want to delete Settings.ini, you would type del Settings.ini
      using del command to delete files
      If you want to delete a file with spaces in its name you must wrap the name in "". For example: del "filename 1"

  3. Deleting folders with the "rmdir" command.

    • First follow the above instructions to locate the folder that contains the subfolder you want to delete.

    • Type the command "rmdir [foldername]" and press to delete the folder. For example, if you want to delete folder FinalUninstaller, you would type rmdir FinalUninstaller
      using rmdir command to delete folders

    • If you want to delete a folder with spaces in its name you must wrap the name in "". For example: rmdir "foldername 1".

If you do not know how to perform the above actions, you are not certain, why you have to do some steps, or the above guide is too difficult for you, please feel free to try our Final Uninstaller to automatically delete files and folders and completely uninstall software.

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