How to delete large folder extremely fast on Windows 10

On Windows 10, sometimes you need to delete folders containing many files, and using File Explorer can take a long time. The reason is that during the delete process, Windows 10 runs calculations, analyzes, and shows updates as files and folders get deleted on the screen, something that usually takes time when deleting a large folder with thousands of files and subfolders.

However, you can significantly speed up the process to only a few seconds using a few command lines. The only caveat is that you need to be comfortable using Command Prompt.

In this tutorial, you will learn the fastest way to delete large folders with thousands of files using command lines and the instructions to add an option on the right-click context menu to automate the process with just one click.

Warning: Typing the wrong path may delete files in the wrong location, so use these instructions carefully. You have been warned.

Delete large folder fast using Command Prompt

To delete a large number of files on Windows 10 using the del and rmdir commands use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to navigate to the folder that you want to delete and press Enter:

    %USERPROFILE%pathtofolder

    In the command, change the path to the folder you want to delete.

  4. Type the following command to delete all the files in that folder without showing the output and press Enter:

    del /f/q/s *.* > nul

    In the command, we use the /f option to force the deletion of read-only files. The /q option enables quiet mode. The /s option executes the command for all files inside the folder you’re trying to remove. Using *.* tells the del command to delete every file and > nul disables the console output improving performance and speed.

  5. Type the following command to go back one level in the folder path and press Enter:

    cd..
  6. Type the following command to delete the folder and all its subfolders, and press Enter:

    rmdir /q/s FOLDER-NAME

    In the command, we use the /q switch to enable quiet mode, the /s option to run the command on all the folders and FOLDER-NAME is the variable you need to specify to delete the folder you want.

    Command delete many files fast

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Once you complete the steps, all the files and folders in the location will delete quickly from your device.

If you are not comfortable writing commands, you do not usually delete tons of files, or you are just looking for a faster way, it’s possible to add a right-click context menu option that will run a batch file for the data you want to delete.

To add a context menu option that will delete files and folders extremely fast on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Notepad.

  2. Copy and paste the following lines into the Notepad text file:

    @ECHO OFF
    ECHO Delete Folder: %CD%?
    PAUSE
    SET FOLDER=%CD%
    CD /
    DEL /F/Q/S "%FOLDER%" > NUL
    RMDIR /Q/S "%FOLDER%"
    EXIT
  3. Click on File.

  4. Select the Save As option.

  5. Save the file as quick_delete.bat, and ensure it uses the .bat extension. 

  6. Move the quick_delete.bat file to the C:Windows folder. (This step is necessary because the file must be on a location with a path environment variable, but you can always create your own if you’re up to the challenge.)

    Windows folder

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the app.

  9. Browse the following path:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshell

    Quick tip: You can copy and paste the path in the address bar of the Registry to navigate to the path quickly.

  10. Right-click the Shell (folder) key, select New, and click on Key.

    Shell Registry key

  11. Name the key Quick Delete and press Enter.

  12. Right-click the newly created key, select New, and click on Key.

  13. Name the key command and press Enter.

  14. Double-click the command key default String on the right side.

  15. Change the value of the key with the following line and click the OK button.

    cmd /c "cd %1 && quick_delete.bat"

    Command to delete folders and files fast

After you complete the steps, you can right-click a folder and select the Quick Delete option from the context menu to remove a large folder super fast.

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While executing the command, you will get a security prompt preventing you from accidentally deleting files. You can always proceed by pressing any key, using the “Ctrl + C” keyboard shortcut, or clicking the “X” button to cancel the operation.

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