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I'm using r.js as a build tool but as of today that tools doesn't give me the ability to delete empty folders in the build dir. I've found these two scripts

for /f "usebackq" %%d in ("dir /ad/b/s | sort /R") do rd "%%d"

for /f "delims=" %%i in ('dir /s /b /ad ^| sort /r') do rd "%%i">NUL

looking around the net but i always get

%%i was unexpected at this time.


%%d was unexpected at this time.

And i wouldn't know how to tell the script where my directory is.

My build script is

@echo off
where /q r.js || (
    echo requirejs node package is not installed. You must install node, npm and then run npm install -g requirejs
    goto :eof
node r.js -o

I need to tell the script to remove all empty directories which are located inside ../../js

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

For reason I never fully understood, for uses a different syntax inside and outside of batch files.

This command should work inside a batch file

for /f "delims=" %%i in ('dir /s /b /ad ^| sort /r') do rd "%%i"

In the command prompt (no batch file), you have to substitute %%i by %i:

for /f "delims=" %i in ('dir /s /b /ad ^| sort /r') do rd "%i"

Also, to suppress the The directory is not empty. error messages, use rd "%i" 2>NUL.

A simple rd "%i">NUL redirects the output (stdout), not the error messages (stderr).

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This works perfectly. If i wanted to suppress all ( both output and error) messages how should i do? – Nicola Peluchetti Jul 3 '12 at 21:09
Just use both: rd "%i">NUL 2>NUL. In this case, >NUL is not needed, since rd doesn't produce any output. – Dennis Jul 3 '12 at 21:14

Note that the first script, i.e., the one below, DOES NOT work on directories with space characters.

for /f "usebackq" %%d in ("dir /ad/b/s | sort /R") do rd "%%d"

The correct version should be here. Note that the use of the default spaces and tabs as delimiters MUST be disabled.

for /f "usebackqdelims=" %%d in ("dir /ad/b/s | sort /R") do rd "%%d"

And please refer to Dennis's answer (the accepted one) for using the script on command prompt.

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You don't need "usebackq" unless the command in (...) is using `, yours is using ". – DavidPostill Jul 18 '15 at 18:48
In addition usebackqdelims is invalid, there should be a space like usebackq delims – DavidPostill Jul 18 '15 at 18:49

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