Deleting files older than n days using command FORFILES

Posted: October 29, 2012 by Virendra Yaduvanshi in Database Administrator
Tags: , , , , ,

It is always very challenging and energetic know some command line fun magically, as it is sometimes very easier and powerful tips to process commands that way. Here, I would like to say something this type of funny operations with Forfiles command in Windows Server 2003/ Windows Vista /Windows 7/ Windows 8 or higher. Forfiles can process files based on names, file extensions and file life cycle. It’s very easy to find files depending on our search criteria or all files in a directory/or including sub directories that are older than Nth days, or all documents in specific folder that have been changed since a specific date.

The forfiles command can be used with processing options to delete those files, or create a list of all files that match the search criteria.

Forfiles, Selects and executes a command on a file or set of files. This command enables batch processing of files. In conjunction with a SQL Server Agent job, we can easily use this command to delete old database backup files to remove dependencies on items such as SQL Server maintenance plans, the xp_cmdshell extended stored procedure, or VBScript objects. For example, the following command searches the directory c:\test and all its subdirectories for files with the .BAK extension that are older than 10 days


The parameter /p followed by a directory defines the starting directory, /s includes subdirectories in the search, /m filters the files and folders based on the search criteria, and /D defines the date or a time span.

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  1. Andy Hayes says:

    Very useful post Virendra. Thanks for sharing.


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