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Directory.Delete Method (String, Boolean)

Deletes the specified directory and, if indicated, any subdirectories and files in the directory.

Namespace:  System.IO
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public static void Delete(
	string path,
	bool recursive
)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The name of the directory to remove.

recursive
Type: System.Boolean

true to remove directories, subdirectories, and files in path; otherwise, false.

ExceptionCondition
IOException

A file with the same name and location specified by path exists.

-or-

The directory specified by path is read-only, or recursive is false and path is not an empty directory.

-or-

The directory is the application's current working directory.

-or-

The directory contains a read-only file.

-or-

The directory is being used by another process.

There is an open handle on the directory or on one of its files, and the operating system is Windows XP or earlier. This open handle can result from enumerating directories and files. For more information, see How to: Enumerate Directories and Files.

UnauthorizedAccessException

The caller does not have the required permission.

ArgumentException

path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters. You can query for invalid characters by using the GetInvalidPathChars method.

ArgumentNullException

path is null.

PathTooLongException

The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters and file names must be less than 260 characters.

DirectoryNotFoundException

path does not exist or could not be found.

-or-

path refers to a file instead of a directory.

-or-

The specified path is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).

The path parameter may specify relative or absolute path information. Relative path information is interpreted as relative to the current working directory. To obtain the current working directory, see GetCurrentDirectory.

Trailing spaces are removed from the end of the path parameter before deleting the directory.

The path parameter is not case-sensitive.

If the recursive parameter is true, the user must have write permission for the current directory as well as for all subdirectories.

The behavior of this method differs slightly when deleting a directory that contains a reparse point, such as a symbolic link or a mount point. If the reparse point is a directory, such as a mount point, it is unmounted and the mount point is deleted. This method does not recurse through the reparse point. If the reparse point is a symbolic link to a file, the reparse point is deleted and not the target of the symbolic link.

In some cases, if you have the specified directory open in File Explorer, the Delete method may not be able to delete it.

The following example shows how to create a new directory, subdirectory, and file in the subdirectory, and then recursively delete all the new items.

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace ConsoleApplication
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string topPath = @"C:\NewDirectory";
            string subPath = @"C:\NewDirectory\NewSubDirectory";

            try
            {
                Directory.CreateDirectory(subPath);

                using (StreamWriter writer = File.CreateText(subPath + @"\example.txt"))
                {
                    writer.WriteLine("content added");
                }

                Directory.Delete(topPath, true);

                bool directoryExists = Directory.Exists(topPath);

                Console.WriteLine("top-level directory exists: " + directoryExists);
            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("The process failed: {0}", e.Message);
            }
        }
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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