How Do I Delete Files in MS-DOS?

by Launie Sorrels

MS-DOS is barely used today. Version 1.0 was released in 1982, and was used through most of the 1980s. If you still have reason to work in MS-DOS, you'll find that deleting files is very easy once you know a few simple commands.

Click on the "Start" button in your taskbar.

Click "All Programs," then "Accessories."

Click "Command Prompt." A little black window appear. You will see a little blinking line; it's called a prompt.

Find the file you want to delete. Type the following at the prompt: CD / CD stands for Change Directory. The "/" symbol symbolizes the root directory. The root directory in this case is the C: drive. After typing CD /, you will see CD:\> Type DIR nameoffile /s. Nameoffile is the actual name of the file you want to delete. DIR is directory, and performs a search for a specific file. The "/s" symbolizes subdirectories. By adding this switch, the computer will search the entire hard drive. You will see Directory of C:\..... Now that you know the directory path, type in CD directorypath. This will take you to the file to be deleted.

Type DEL filename at the prompt. Filename is the name of the file to be deleted.


  • close Be careful when deleting files. This is not Windows, and deleting files in MS-DOS is permanent.

About the Author

Launie Sorrels is a veteran who has worked as a chef and has more than two decades of martial arts training. His writing has developed from his experience as a quality assurance manager for Microsoft and IBM. Sorrels has a degree in computer science and is currently working on his journalism degree.

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