How to Remove a Folder in on Linux/Mac

Are you wondering how to permanently remove a folder/directory on Linux or Mac from your terminal?

To check what your current directory is, you can use the pwd command. And to list all of the files and directories in your current folder, use ls.

  • Use rmdir or rm -d command to remove empty folders.
  • Use the rm -r command to remove non-empty folders.


rmdir <directory-name>

Or if that folder had files I also wanted deleted:

rm -r <directory-name>

As an example, if I was in a directory with node_modules that I wanted to delete its contents I would run:

rm -r node_modules

⚠️ Caution ⚠️

This can't be undone!!! Your files will be lost, so be very careful before you use this command, especially the rm -r, which can be particularly destructive if run in the wrong directory.

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Written by Niall Maher

Founder of Codú - The web developer community! I've worked in nearly every corner of technology businesses; Lead Developer, Software Architect, Product Manager, CTO and now happily a Founder.


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