How to delete a file in Java

In this quick article, you'll learn how to delete a file in Java using both legacy API as well as new I/O API (NIO).

Using Files.delete() Method

In Java 7+, you can use Files.delete() — the static method from the NIO API to delete any file. If the file exists, it deletes it along with parent directories if they are empty. If it doesn't exist already, Files.delete() throws a NoSuchFileException exception.

Here is an example:

try {
    // delete file

} catch (IOException ex) {

If you only want to delete an existing file, just use Files.deleteIfExists(). It is similar to the above method except that it doesn't throw an exception if the file is not present:


Using File.delete() Method

In Java 6 or below, you can use the File.delete() method to remove a file from the file system. This method returns true if the file is deleted successfully, otherwise false if there is an error or the file is non-existent.

Here is an example:

// create file instance
 File file = new File("file.txt");

 // delete file
if(file.delete()) {
    System.out.println("File is deleted!");
} else {
    System.out.println("File doesn't exist.");

Further Reading

You may be interested in other Java I/O articles:

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