Delete a file or folder in Python

David Y.

The Problem

How do I delete a file or folder in Python?

The Solution

We can use functions from Python’s built-in os module to delete files and empty folders.

To delete a folder that is not empty, we must use the rmtree() function from Python’s shutil module.

For example:

import os, shutil os.remove("unwanted-file.txt") os.rmdir("empty-dir") shutil.rmtree("nonempty-dir")

Note that these functions will throw errors if the file or directory to be deleted does not exist. We can avoid this by using os.path.isfile() and os.path.isdir() to test for their existence before attempting the deletion:

import os, shutil if os.path.isfile("unwanted-file.txt"): os.remove("unwanted-file.txt") if os.path.isdir("empty-dir"): os.rmdir("empty-dir") if os.path.isdir("nonempty-dir"): shutil.rmtree("nonempty-dir")
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