file files - How do I remove/delete a folder that is not empty with Python?

os.remove rename (13)

Base on kkubasik's answer, check if folder exists before remove, more robust

import shutil
def remove_folder(path):
    # check if folder exists
    if os.path.exists(path):
         # remove if exists

I am getting an 'access is denied' error when I attempt to delete a folder that is not empty. I used the following command in my attempt: os.remove("/folder_name").

What is the most effective way of removing/deleting a folder/directory that is not empty?

Just some python 3.5 options to complete the answers above. (I would have loved to find them here).

import os
import shutil
from send2trash import send2trash # (shutil delete permanently)

Delete folder if empty

root = r"C:\Users\Me\Desktop\test"   
for dir, subdirs, files in os.walk(root):   
    if subdirs == [] and files == []:
           print(dir, ": folder removed")

Delete also folder if it contains this file

    elif subdirs == [] and len(files) == 1: # if contains no sub folder and only 1 file 
        if files[0]== "desktop.ini" or:  
            print(dir, ": folder removed")

delete folder if it contains only .srt or .txt file(s)

    elif subdirs == []: #if dir doesn’t contains subdirectory
        ext = (".srt", ".txt")
        for file in files:
            if not file.endswith(ext):  
        if contains_other_ext== 0:
                print(dir, ": dir deleted")

Delete folder if its size is less than 400kb :

def get_tree_size(path):
    """Return total size of files in given path and subdirs."""
    total = 0
    for entry in os.scandir(path):
        if entry.is_dir(follow_symlinks=False):
            total += get_tree_size(entry.path)
            total += entry.stat(follow_symlinks=False).st_size
    return total

for dir, subdirs, files in os.walk(root):   
    If get_tree_size(dir) < 400000:  # ≈ 400kb
    print(dir, "dir deleted")

def deleteDir(dirPath):
    deleteFiles = []
    deleteDirs = []
    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(dirPath):
        for f in files:
            deleteFiles.append(os.path.join(root, f))
        for d in dirs:
            deleteDirs.append(os.path.join(root, d))
    for f in deleteFiles:
    for d in deleteDirs:

if you are sure, that you want to delete the entire dir tree, and are no more interested in contents of dir, then crawling for entire dir tree is stupidness... just call native OS command from python to do that. It will be faster, efficient and less memory consuming.

RMDIR c:\blah /s /q 

or *nix

rm -rf /home/whatever 

In python, the code will look like..

import sys
import os

mswindows = (sys.platform == "win32")

def getstatusoutput(cmd):
    """Return (status, output) of executing cmd in a shell."""
    if not mswindows:
        return commands.getstatusoutput(cmd)
    pipe = os.popen(cmd + ' 2>&1', 'r')
    text =
    sts = pipe.close()
    if sts is None: sts = 0
    if text[-1:] == '\n': text = text[:-1]
    return sts, text

def deleteDir(path):
    """deletes the path entirely"""
    if mswindows: 
        cmd = "RMDIR "+ path +" /s /q"
        cmd = "rm -rf "+path
    result = getstatusoutput(cmd)
        raise RuntimeError(result[1])

You can use os.system command for simplicity:

import os
os.system("rm -rf dirname")

As obvious, it actually invokes system terminal to accomplish this task.

If you don't want to use the shutil module you can just use the os module.

from os import listdir, rmdir, remove
for i in listdir(directoryToRemove):
    os.remove(os.path.join(directoryToRemove, i))
rmdir(directoryToRemove) # Now the directory is empty of files

import shutil
shutil.rmtree(dest, ignore_errors=True)

I have found a very easy way to Delete any folder(Even NOT Empty) or file on WINDOWS OS.

os.system('powershell.exe  rmdir -r D:\workspace\Branches\*%s* -Force' %CANDIDATE_BRANCH)

import shutil


Standard Library Reference: shutil.rmtree.

By design, rmtree fails on folder trees containing read-only files. If you want the folder to be deleted regardless of whether it contains read-only files, then use

shutil.rmtree('/folder_name', ignore_errors=True)

import os
import stat
import shutil

def errorRemoveReadonly(func, path, exc):
    excvalue = exc[1]
    if func in (os.rmdir, os.remove) and excvalue.errno == errno.EACCES:
        # change the file to be readable,writable,executable: 0777
        os.chmod(path, stat.S_IRWXU | stat.S_IRWXG | stat.S_IRWXO)  
        # retry
        # raiseenter code here

shutil.rmtree(path, ignore_errors=False, onerror=errorRemoveReadonly) 

If ignore_errors is set, errors are ignored; otherwise, if onerror is set, it is called to handle the error with arguments (func, path, exc_info) where func is os.listdir, os.remove, or os.rmdir; path is the argument to that function that caused it to fail; and exc_info is a tuple returned by sys.exc_info(). If ignore_errors is false and onerror is None, an exception is raised.enter code here

from python 3.4 you may use :

import pathlib

def delete_folder(pth) :
    for sub in pth.iterdir() :
        if sub.is_dir() :
        else :
    pth.rmdir() # if you just want to delete dir content, remove this line

where pth is a pathlib.Path instance. Nice, but may not be the fastest.

From the python docs on os.walk():

# Delete everything reachable from the directory named in 'top',
# assuming there are no symbolic links.
# CAUTION:  This is dangerous!  For example, if top == '/', it
# could delete all your disk files.
import os
for root, dirs, files in os.walk(top, topdown=False):
    for name in files:
        os.remove(os.path.join(root, name))
    for name in dirs:
        os.rmdir(os.path.join(root, name))

You could also use the loadtxt command in NumPy. This checks for fewer conditions than genfromtxt, so it may be faster.

import numpy
data = numpy.loadtxt(filename, delimiter="\n")

python file