Windows Tip: How To Delete Files Older Than Certain Days in Command Line

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Perhaps, the easiest way to delete files at a certain age is through a command line or a batched file or even a script. Yes, of course, you can still do so from the powerful File Explorer that comes with Windows but it certainly takes more steps than a simple command.

Command Prompt - splash

For example, if I need to search for a list of PDF files that are older than a year in my OneDrive, I can open Command Prompt and run the following command.

in which,

  • /p to indicate the path to start the search.
  • /s to search all subfolders recursively.
  • /m to define the search mask for the specified files. In this case, use *.PDF to find all PDF files.
  • /d to select files with a last modified date. -365 simply means a year ago.
  • /c to indicate the command to execute each file found in the search. The command string needs to be wrapped up in double quotes. “cmd /c echo @file” is the default command if not specified. You can use other variables if needed, such as:
    • @path for the full path of the file.
    • @fsize for the size of the file.
    • @fdate and @ftime for the date and time of the file.

To delete the files found in the search, replace “echo” with “del” in the command.

If you need to do this frequently or on different computers, you can put it in a batch file so you can run it by double-clicking it.

You can also do the same with PowerShell if you prefer with the cmdlet Get-ChildItem and Where-Object.

To remove the items found in above cmdlet, pipe the result to Remove-Item cmdlet.

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