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Windows 7: Quickly delete thousands of large files

14 Sep 2010   #1

XP, 7 32/64bit
Quickly delete thousands of large files

I have a folder, and it has ~35,000 files in it, totaling about 90gb..

Is there any way for me to delete them all, permanently, and quickly? It takes 10seconds to 1min just to right click delete.
I don't need them, I don't want them to go to the recycle bin, I just want them unlisted so I can overwrite the space with more files...

If I do shift+delete, it still asks me if I want to send them to recycle bin

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Besides the suggestion offered above, there is no way to do it quickly. It's not like a format where the entire drive is designated as "free space", the cpu would need to go 2 where every single file is stored and set it to free space.

You can try deleting the larger files first (in the order of Gb) or delete like 1000-2000 at a time, seems to work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

When deleting a folder, the calculation time depends on not only the size of the files but also the number of files in the folder, the more files there are, the longer it takes. Thats why its best to separate files into multiple sub-folders if you have a large number of video/music files.

One thing you can try generally to quicly delete a large file is to right-click on the file, select Properties, then under the General tab select the Advanced button for Attributes and uncheck both options under the File Attributes section ('File is ready for archiving' and 'Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties'), then delete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #5

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer

Heck, I was gonna say quick format of the drive.

Having said that, here is a program the "claims" to delete large numbers of files quickly. BUYER BEWARE (it's free), as I have no experience with this program. It is on CNET's download, which I feel comfortable with.

Fast Folder Eraser - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 10 Pro X64

If you hold down the Ctrl Shift key when deleting files or folders, they will not go to the Recycle bin. No need to change any settings. It will still take awhile for Windows Explorer to figure out what needs to be deleted, but after that they will go away quickly.

An alternative would be to open a command prompt then change to the folder (Directory) the files are in. Once there and you are absolutely sure you are in the right place, enter:

del *

You will be prompted to be sure this is what you want to do, type y and press Enter.Like this:
C:\WINDOWS\Temp>del *
C:\WINDOWS\Temp\*, Are you sure (Y/N)? y
If you then want to get rid of the folder as well, do this:
cd ..
rd xxxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxx is the name of the folder. Place in double quotes if it contains spaces)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP


If you have a spare empty partition, Move them there instantly then delete the partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 10 Pro x64

I would also say using shift+delete when the folder is highlighted generally results in a fast, no recycle bin delete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

If you use one of the option posted to delete with no recycle bin make sure you have picked the proper thing to remove because if you want it back later, will it get very difficult in not impossible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 10 Pro X64

Cluberti, you are right. It's shift, not Ctrl. I edited my post to correct it, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Quickly delete thousands of large files

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