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Java - delete directory

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Created by:
Emerson-V
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In this article, we would like to show you how to delete a directory in Java.

Below we describe several ways on how to delete a directory:

  • Recursively,
  • Files.walkFileTree (Java 7)

 

Project structure

/C/
 └── directory/
      │
      ├── subdirectory1/
      │
      └── subdirectory2/
               │
               └── file.txt

1. Recursively

In this example, we use recursion to delete a non-empty directory, because to delete the directory we need to clear it first.

import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;


public class Example {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
        File file = new File("C:\\directory\\subdirectory2");

        deleteDirectoryLegacyIO(file);
    }

    public static void deleteDirectoryLegacyIO(File file) {
        File[] listFiles = file.listFiles();
        if (listFiles != null) {
            for (File temp : listFiles) {
                //recursive delete
                System.out.println("Opened: " + temp);
                deleteDirectoryLegacyIO(temp);
            }
        }

        if (file.delete()) {
            System.out.printf("Deleted: %s%n", file);
        } else {
            System.err.printf("Unable to delete: %s%n", file);
        }

    }
}

Output:

Opened: C:\directory\subdirectory2\file.txt
Deleted: C:\directory\subdirectory2\file.txt
Deleted: C:\directory\subdirectory2

2. Files.walkFileTree

In this example, we use Files.walkFileTree with SimpleFileVisitor to delete a directory.

package tmpOperations;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.nio.file.*;
import java.nio.file.attribute.BasicFileAttributes;


public class Example {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
        Path path = Paths.get("C:\\directory\\subdirectory2");

        Files.walkFileTree(path,
                new SimpleFileVisitor<>() {

                    // delete directories
                    @Override
                    public FileVisitResult postVisitDirectory(Path directory, IOException exc)
                            throws IOException {
                        Files.delete(directory);
                        System.out.printf("Deleted directory: %s%n", directory);
                        return FileVisitResult.CONTINUE;
                    }

                    // delete files
                    @Override
                    public FileVisitResult visitFile(Path file, BasicFileAttributes attrs)
                            throws IOException {
                        Files.delete(file);
                        System.out.printf("Deleted file: %s%n", file);
                        return FileVisitResult.CONTINUE;
                    }
                }
        );
    }
}

Output:

Deleted file: C:\directory\subdirectory2\file.txt
Deleted directory: C:\directory\subdirectory2

Alternative titles

  1. Java - delete folder
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