Command: del / erase

  Del / erase deletes (erases) files.


  1. DEL [{ options | pattern }]
     ERASE [{ options | pattern }]
  2. DEL [/P] [/V] [/?] [drive][path]filename
     ERASE [/P] [/V] [/?] [drive][path]filename
      drive     Specifies the drive letter where the file is, e.g. C:
      path      Specifies the path to where the file is, e.g. \example\
      filename  Specifies the file(s) to delete. Specify multiple
                files by using wildcards (*,?).
                A period may be used to specify all files in the
                current directory, and is the same as *.*
      pattern   If pattern matches a directory, all files within this
                directory are deleted.


  /P  Prompts for confirmation before deleting each file.
  /V  Displays all deleted files.
  /?  Shows the help.


  If pattern matches a directory, all files within this directory are
  deleted. When all files are to be deleted, a warning prompt is issued.
  For performance reasons DEL / ERASE overwrites the first letter of
  the filename by a '?'. It does not delete the file itself, but it
  deallocates the space where the content of the file is written.
  FreeDOS, as other DOSes, recognizes the renamed file (myfile.txt
  becomes ?yfile.txt) as deleted, no longer shows it and does not
  offer access to it. Programs like DEBUG which have sector access are
  able to read the contents of the file. As long as you do not write on
  the drive you have a chance to restore the file again with UNDELETE,
  only the first character of the filename will be lost (_yfile.txt).
  The only ways to delete the file CONTENTS FOR ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN are
  to fill the disk completely with other files or by using a wipeout
  tool. The only way to delete a file NAME FOR ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN is to
  REN / RENAME the file first (e.g. "a.") and to delete it later (only
  correct at 8.3 - not at long filenames!) You can also use ERASE
  instead of DEL.
  DEL is a command internal to and needs no other file
  in order to work.


  Example 1:
  Deletes the files FILE1.EXT and FILE2.EXT.
  Example 2:
    DEL /P *.bak
  Deletes all files with extension BAK, but prompts the user for each
  single file before deleting it.
  Example 3:
  Deletes all files within the current directory.
  Example 4:
    DEL /V *.txt
  Lists the deleted files.

See also:

  Copyright © 2004 Robert Platt, updated 2011 and 2022 by W. Spiegl.

  This file is derived from the FreeDOS Spec Command HOWTO.
  See the file H2Cpying for copying conditions.