In computing, del (or erase) is a command in command-line interpreters (shells) such as COMMAND.COM, cmd.exe, 4DOS, NDOS, 4OS2, 4NT and Windows PowerShell. It is used to delete one or more files or directories from a file system.

del / erase
Developer(s)DEC, Microware, Microsoft, IBM, Digital Research, Novell, JP Software, ReactOS Contributors
Operating systemRT-11, RSX-11, OS/8, OpenVMS, DOS, OS-9, FlexOS, OS/2, Windows, ReactOS, KolibriOS, SymbOS, DexOS


The command is available for various operating systems including DOS, Microware OS-9,[1] IBM OS/2,[2] Microsoft Windows[3] and ReactOS.[4] It is analogous to the Unix rm command and to the Stratus OpenVOS delete_file and delete_dircommands.[5]DEC RT-11,[6] RSX-11, OS/8[7] and OpenVMS also provide the delete command which can be contracted to del. AmigaDOS[8] and TSC FLEX[9] provide a delete command as well.

On MS-DOS, the command is available in versions 1 and later.[10] It is also available in the open-source MS-DOS emulator DOSBox.

While DR-DOS supports del and erase as well, it also supports the shorthand form era, which derived from CP/M. In addition to this, the DR-DOS command processor also supports delq/eraq. These are shorthand forms for the del/era/erase command with an assumed /Q parameter (for 'Query') given as well.[11]

THEOS/OASIS[12] and FlexOS[13] provide only the erase command.

In PowerShell, del and erase are predefined command aliases for the Remove-Item cmdlet which basically serves the same purpose.


del filename
erase filename

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Paul S. Dayan (1992). The OS-9 Guru - 1 : The Facts. Galactic Industrial Limited. ISBN 0-9519228-0-7.
  2. ^
  3. ^
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  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Concise Command Language" (CCL)."OS/8 Handbook" (PDF). April 1974. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ FLEX 2.0 User's Manual
  10. ^ Wolverton, Van (2003). Running MS-DOS Version 6.22 (20th Anniversary Edition), 6th Revised edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1812-7.
  11. ^ DR DOS 6.0 User Guide Optimisation and Configuration Tips
  12. ^ THEOS/OASIS User′s Handbook
  13. ^

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit