How To Remove All Files In A Directory In Linux

Working with Linux requires a strong understanding of file and directory management. One crucial skill is knowing how to remove all files in a directory, which we will explore in this article. However, keep in mind that the commands we’re going to discuss should be used with caution. Once you delete files, they can’t be recovered.

Using the ‘rm’ Command

The basic command to remove files in Linux is rm. If you want to delete all files within a specific directory without removing the directory itself, you can use the following command:

cd /path/to/directory
rm *

This command will remove all files in the current working directory. However, be careful with this command as it will permanently delete all the files.

Using the ‘find’ Command

If you want to delete all files of a specific type, you can use the find command in combination with rm:

find /path/to/directory -type f -name "*.txt" -exec rm {} \;

This command will find and delete all .txt files within the specified directory and its subdirectories.

Using the ‘rm’ Command with Flags

The rm command can also be used with different flags to remove files and directories. For instance, the -r (or –recursive) flag allows you to delete a directory and its contents:

rm -r /path/to/directory

Keep in mind, the above command will delete the directory itself along with its contents.

To protect against accidental deletions, consider using the -i (or –interactive) flag, which will prompt for confirmation before deleting each file.

rm -ri /path/to/directory


These are some of the basic yet powerful commands available in Linux for file and directory deletion. Remember to always double-check your commands before execution to avoid accidental deletion of crucial data.