Please let us know how useful you find this tip by rating it below. Do you have a useful Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to our monthly tip contest and you could win a prize!
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Here's a familiar scenario: After doing extensive cleanup on a \Documents and Settings or \Applications directory, you're left with many empty folders but no way to selectively delete them. The command-line functions for removing directories are all or nothing; there's no way to selectively instruct them to remove only empty ones.
RMEMPTY runs as a command-line application. The only parameter that needs to be passed is the name of a directory or pathname, which RMEMPTY will inspect recursively for empty folders. Originally, the program didn't delete the specified directory itself if it was empty after all other processing was completed; it now does this.
To purge multiple folder hierarchies, simply pass multiple pathnames as parameters. For example, rmempty c:\folder1 c:\folder2. The files are never deleted, just the empty folders.
RMEMPTY has one drawback, although I suspect it will be fixed in future revisions: It does not delete empty directories with names that contain Unicode or non-ASCII characters. The source code is also not available, unfortunately, but Mr. Good can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to drop suggestions about improvements.
Note: I've found that one useful but rather non-work-related application for this tool is cleaning up all the empty directories left behind in a My Music directory after consolidating and renaming many files. This was actually how I found out about the non-English pathname limitation!
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!