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


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?

3/25/2015 9:09:17 AM

Accepted Answer

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)
2/23/2018 12:04:08 PM

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))

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