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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

_unlink, _wunlink

Delete a file.

int _unlink(
   const char *filename 
int _wunlink(
   const wchar_t *filename 


Name of file to remove.

Each of these functions returns 0 if successful. Otherwise, the function returns –1 and sets errno to EACCES, which means the path specifies a read-only file, or to ENOENT, which means the file or path is not found or the path specified a directory.

See _doserrno, errno, _sys_errlist, and _sys_nerr for more information on these, and other, return codes.

The _unlink function deletes the file specified by filename. _wunlink is a wide-character version of _unlink; the filename argument to _wunlink is a wide-character string. These functions behave identically otherwise.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine

_UNICODE & _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined






Required header


<io.h> and <stdio.h>


<io.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

This program uses _unlink to delete CRT_UNLINK.TXT.

// crt_unlink.c

#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
   if( _unlink( "crt_unlink.txt" ) == -1 )
      perror( "Could not delete 'CRT_UNLINK.TXT'" );
      printf( "Deleted 'CRT_UNLINK.TXT'\n" );

Input: crt_unlink.txt

This file will be deleted.

Sample Output


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