Remove folders and files in Windows
The worst way is to send to Recycle Bin: you still need to delete them. Next worst is shift+delete with Windows Explorer: it wastes loads of time checking the contents before starting deleting anything. Next best is to use rmdir /s/q foldername from the command line. del /f/s/q foldername is good too, but it leaves behind the directory structure. The best I've found is a two line batch file with a first pass to delete files and outputs to nul to avoid the overhead of writing to screen for every singe file. A second pass then cleans up the remaining directory structure: del /f/s/q foldername > nul rmdir /s/q foldername This is nearly three times faster than a single rmdir, based on time tests with a Windows XP encrypted disk, deleting ~30GB/1,000,000 files/15,000 folders: rmdir takes ~2.5 hours, del+rmdir takes ~53 minutes. More info at Super User. This is a regular task for me, so I usually move the stuff I need to delete to C:\stufftodelete and have those del+rmdir commands in a deletestuff.bat batch file. This is scheduled to run at night, but sometimes I need to run it during the day so the quicker the better.