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Sun, Feb 19, 2017 10:45 pm

Deleting a hidden file from a command prompt on a Windows system

The del command can be used at a command prompt on a Microsoft Windows system to delete files. But, if you try to delete a file using that command without specifically specifying that you wish to apply the command to a hidden file, you will receive a message stating windows could not find the file. To delete a hidden file, you need to use the /ah parameter before the file name as shown below.
C:\Users\enzo\Documents>dir /ah *.swp
 Volume in drive C is Windows
 Volume Serial Number is B688-ED25

 Directory of C:\Users\enzo\Documents

02/18/2017  12:51 PM            12,288 .system.html.swp
               1 File(s)         12,288 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  1,954,264,215,552 bytes free

C:\Users\enzo\Documents>del .system.html.swp
Could Not Find C:\Users\enzo\Documents\.system.html.swp

C:\Users\enzo\Documents>del /ah .system.html.swp

C:\Users\enzo\Documents>

The syntax for the del command is shown below:

C:\>del /?
Deletes one or more files.

DEL [/P] [/F] [/S] [/Q] [/A[[:]attributes]] names
ERASE [/P] [/F] [/S] [/Q] [/A[[:]attributes]] names

  names         Specifies a list of one or more files or directories.
                Wildcards may be used to delete multiple files. If a
                directory is specified, all files within the directory
                will be deleted.

  /P            Prompts for confirmation before deleting each file.
  /F            Force deleting of read-only files.
  /S            Delete specified files from all subdirectories.
  /Q            Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to delete on global wildcard
  /A            Selects files to delete based on attributes
  attributes    R  Read-only files            S  System files
                H  Hidden files               A  Files ready for archiving
                I  Not content indexed Files  L  Reparse Points
                -  Prefix meaning not

If Command Extensions are enabled DEL and ERASE change as follows:

The display semantics of the /S switch are reversed in that it shows
you only the files that are deleted, not the ones it could not find.

C:\>

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

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