How To Permanently Delete A Single File From Mac Using Terminal [Tip]
When I use the rmdir command it only removes empty folders. If I have a directory nested with files and folders within folders with files and so on, is there any way to delete all the files and folders without all the strenuous command typing? This question appears to be off-topic.
The users who voted to close gave this specific reason: You may be able to get help on Super User.
But be careful! Only execute this command if you are absolutely sure, that you are in the right directory. Yes, there is.
The -r option tells rm to be r ecursive, and remove the entire file hierarchy rooted at its arguments; in other words, if given a directory, it will remove all of its contents and then perform what is effectively an rmdir. The other two options you should know are -i and -f. You can specify these with -r or not; it's an independent setting.
And as usual, you can combine switches: Also note that what you're learning applies to bash on every Unix OS: In fact, rm 's syntax is the same in pretty much every shell on every Unix OS. So I was looking all over for a way to remove all files in a directory except for some directories, and files, I wanted to keep around. After much searching I devised a way to do it using find.
Creating and deleting files using the Mac Terminal - TechRepublic
Essentially it uses regex to select the directories to exclude from the results then removes the remaining files. I feel that if I deleted anything prematurely that there may be a version or an image that I can still dig out in a time of need.
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Sometimes, however, I want to delete something permanently, as I know for sure that there are no future uses for it. Other times, I just need a file that contains no data and is not associated with any applications. Here is a helpful terminal tip for creating and deleting files that I often find creative uses for. A word of warning for those of you who are not familiar with the Terminal.
Keep in mind that when using the Terminal to delete things that it is really easy to delete something that you didn't intend to. After deleting a file with the Terminal, there is no way to retrieve it.
Trash solution summary: Cannot delete files
With that in mind, be certain that the files you wish to eliminate are indeed the files you intended to remove. To create a blank file with no associations or data, start by navigating to Utilities Applications folder and double-click the Terminal. Once open, you want to change your location from your User folder to the location where you would like to place the file. I'll be using the Desktop for this example but you can place it in any location that you like.
Now that we have created this filename file, lets delete it! With your Terminal still open, type the following at the command prompt:. Then Drag the file filename from your Desktop into the Terminal window and release. This provides the file's destination so that you don't have to type it manually.
Be sure that there is a space between rm -Rf and the directory path.