force Delete Files or Folders in Windows 11

How to Force Delete Files or Folders in Windows 11

While Windows 11 has dozens of new features and a redesigned interface, it also comes with certain limitations in terms of security and privacy. Restrictions can be pretty beneficial sometimes, but they can also be terrible. To return to the topic, we need to remove unnecessary files regularly to maintain the free storage space on our Windows PC. The program runs more smoothly with free storage; we may keep our files and important documents there.

When removing files/folders, we occasionally encounter problems and cannot remove the file. In such a scenario, we’ll have to delete it manually to get it out of the storage. Many people have encountered the problem and have abandoned it due to failed attempts. Many people are unaware of the force delete method; therefore, this post will explain how you can force delete files or folders in Windows 11.

Can’t Delete a File or Folder in Windows 11?

Well, there are many reasons behind a file/folder not getting deleted in Windows 11. Still, the most common reasons are- any program or Windows background process is using the file or folder, the file is in use so it can’t be deleted, access is denied from the storage device, the file or folder is unable to get deleted because either the disk is Full or write-protected, disk failure, the file is read-only, the file is corrupted, recycle bin’s space is full, and malware entered the file or folder.

Now, Let’s check how you can force deleted files or folders in Windows 11.

3 Ways to Force Delete Files or Folders in Windows 11

Method 1: Using the command prompt

Command prompt has always been helpful in many circumstances. This method will use a command prompt to delete or force delete any of your useless files or folders in Windows 11. First, open the command prompt by searching cmd in the search box of the start menu and run it as administrator.

To delete any file type, execute the below command:

DEL /F /Q /A “File path”

File Path = Enter the file address of the file you want to delete.

For example DEL /F /Q /A “C:\Users\Binay\Desktop\Test.txt”

Now run the command; this will delete the text file from my desktop.

Note: Ensure the file extension is included in the command, such as.txt,.docx,.xls, etc. You can verify the entire path of a file or folder by right-clicking it and selecting Properties. Alternatively, you can use the Copy as Path option by right-clicking it.

To force delete a folder in Windows 11, you will have to run the following command:

RD /S /Q “Folder path”

Make sure to replace the folder path word with the path address of the folder you want to delete.

For example, RD /S /Q “C:\Users\Binay\Desktop\Screenshot”

When we enter this command, it will delete the screenshot folder.

force delete command

Method 2: Using the Shift shortcut

You may be aware that if we remove a folder or file, Windows saves it in the Recycle bin, allowing us to retrieve the file or folder at any moment. If the space in your Recycle bin is full, you won’t be able to remove any files or folders. In this scenario, you may select the file or folder you wish to remove and then use the Shift+Delete command to delete it without going through the recycle bin.

Method 3: Using Windows 11 Safe Mode

If you cannot delete the file using either the command prompt or the Shift shortcut method, there is a high chance that any kind of malware or virus has entered your system and is stopping you from deleting the file. To delete the file, in this case, boot your PC to Windows 11 safe mode and try to delete the file or folder from the safe mode itself, and then restart your computer and get back to normal mode. Most probably, this will delete any of your files and folders.

Apart from these, you can try other methods to delete the file or folder you want. Let’s check those methods.

  • Close all windows or programs running.
  • Open task manager and force close if you see any suspicious program running.
  • Restart the device.
  • Run a virus scan using any third-party scanner or Windows virus scanner.
  • Make sure the folder or file you want to delete isn’t in read-only mode.
  • Empty the recycle bin to get free storage in it.
  • Run the CHKDSK command to check for issues in your hard drive.
  • Make sure the file or folder isn’t corrupted.


These were some possible tips and tricks to force delete or delete any file. Have you ever gone through this kind of problem, or have the above steps worked for you? Do let us know by dropping a command in your words below.

You may recover an important file from the recycle bin if you accidentally lose it. If you accidentally deleted the file from the recycle bin, you can recover the deleted file using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a free third-party software. As a result, you may continue to use the method or steps outlined on this page without fear of losing essential files or data.

MiniTool is a well-known software firm specializing in data-related operations, so that you may have heard of it before. For over ten years, they have produced professional data recovery solutions, disc partition management, and data backup applications for millions of customers. Many specialists have been utilizing the MiniTool software for a long time, resulting in a significantly better level of service and confidence. Their applications are compatible with both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

About Zaid

Zaid is a tech writer at DealNTech, passionate about exploring and researching new gadgets and helping readers easily understand their features. He specializes in testing PC issues and staying up-to-date on the latest PC news. Email: [email protected].

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