Room of a pleinolijf

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Deleting Files and Folders With Paths/Names That Are Too Long for Windows

As a follow-up on the previous post, I found a better alternative to do this if you already use node.js. There’s a util available on GitHub, called rimraf, that seems to exist purely to help you and me out with this irritating problem (on a Windows machine).

And it’s easy-peasy. Simply open your favourite node.js prompt (I like to set up everything in the excellent Cmder, btw), and install rimraf like so:

npm install -g rimraf

Then, to actually see the ‘magic’ happen, execute:

rimraf <directory_to_delete>

Could it be any easier ?


Unable to Delete File when Source Path Name Too Long

I regularly suffer from this annoying Windows treat: being unable to delete files that are located in a path which name is too long. Specifically, this occurs on files created by Node.js. Maybe that might be the reason. But it’s still illogical, since the file was allowed to be written by the OS in the first place.

2015-06-02 12_39_43-path name too long at DuckDuckGo

An example: C:\SourceTree\dso\node_modules\grunt-spritesmith\node_modules\spritesmith\node_modules\pixelsmith\node_modules\get-pixels\node_modules\ndarray-pack\node_modules\cwise-compiler\node_modules\uniq\test

You would want to do that if you want to ‘clean’ your npm install folder, for example.

With tips and tricks suggested on support forums, -at least in my case- I was unable to delete this file/folder. Nothing will work, not even an Adminstrator PowerShell console.

The only solution ? 7-Zip. Yep, that’s right, the popular compression tool. When you do Shift-Del (bypassing the Recycle Bin), it actually uses it’s own internal file engine to delete the files, instead of hooking into the operating system. As a bonus, it deletes the files faster as well.

How ? Simply open the 7-Zip File Manager, and navigate to the big bad folder (containing the files) in question. Select what you want to see gone, and press Shift-Del. Done and done.