std::filesystem::remove, std::filesystem::remove_all

Defined in header <filesystem>
bool remove( const std::filesystem::path& p );
(1) (since C++17)
bool remove( const std::filesystem::path& p, std::error_code& ec ) noexcept;
(2) (since C++17)
std::uintmax_t remove_all( const std::filesystem::path& p );
(3) (since C++17)
(4) (since C++17)
1,2) The file or empty directory identified by the path p is deleted as if by the POSIX remove. Symlinks are not followed (symlink is removed, not its target).
3,4) Deletes the contents of p (if it is a directory) and the contents of all its subdirectories, recursively, then deletes p itself as if by repeatedly applying the POSIX remove. Symlinks are not followed (symlink is removed, not its target).


[edit] Parameters

p - path to delete
ec - out-parameter for error reporting in the non-throwing overload.

[edit] Return value

1,2) true if the file was deleted, false if it did not exist. The overload that takes error_code& argument returns false on errors.
3,4) Returns the number of files and directories that were deleted (which may be zero if p did not exist to begin with). The overload that takes error_code& argument returns static_cast<std::uintmax_t>(-1) on error.

[edit] Exceptions

Any overload not marked noexcept may throw std::bad_alloc if memory allocation fails.

1,3) Throws std::filesystem::filesystem_error on underlying OS API errors, constructed with p as the first path argument and the OS error code as the error code argument.
2,4) Sets a std::error_code& parameter to the OS API error code if an OS API call fails, and executes ec.clear() if no errors occur.

[edit] Notes

On POSIX systems, this function typically calls unlink and rmdir as needed, on Windows RemoveDirectoryW and DeleteFileW.

[edit] Example

#include <cstdint>
#include <filesystem>
#include <iostream>
namespace fs = std::filesystem;
int main()
    fs::path tmp{std::filesystem::temp_directory_path()};
    std::filesystem::create_directories(tmp / "abcdef/example");
    std::uintmax_t n{fs::remove_all(tmp / "abcdef")};
    std::cout << "Deleted " << n << " files or directories\n";

Possible output:

Deleted 2 files or directories

[edit] Defect reports

The following behavior-changing defect reports were applied retroactively to previously published C++ standards.

DR Applied to Behavior as published Correct behavior
LWG 3014 C++17 error_code overload of remove_all marked noexcept but can allocate memory noexcept removed

[edit] See also

erases a file
(function) [edit]