I'm trying to delete a folder in an install script using PowerShell. The script copies a bunch of files to a distribution folder (using RoboCopy) and then cleans up superfluous files and folders.

I seem to be unable to use PowerShell to delete a folder name c:\installs\wwhelp\Editors\.vs even after having set permissions in the Powershell Console running as admin.

I essentially do this after copying and cleaning out the .vs folder:

set source=\wwapps\wwhelp
set target=\installs\wwhelp
Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy UnRestricted

robocopy $source\Editors $target\Editors /MIR
deletefiles $target\Editors\.vs\*.* -r -f   <-- deletes files & folder recursively
rd  $target\Editors\.vs

This fails with:

rd : Cannot remove item C:\installs\wwhelp\editors\.vs: You do not have sufficient access rights to perform this operation.

The folder is empty and I'm running as admin and I've set the execution policy. If I create a folder called vs in the same folder structure the remove works.

Likewise running the rd command in the command window with Admin works.

Any ideas why I get a security exception on a folder that starts with a . in Powershell?

  • .vs is a folder? Somewhere the \ seems to have gone missing. Can you try rd c:\\installs\\wwhelp\\editors\\.vs Jan 19, 2016 at 5:42
  • @LievenKeersmaekers You don't need to escape \ when using rd
    – DavidPostill
    Jan 19, 2016 at 14:35
  • @DavidPostill - the folder is \.vs but the error message shows editors.vs. That's actually all I was referring to. Jan 19, 2016 at 15:13
  • 1
    @LievenKeersmaekers It doesn't matter. md f:\test\.vs followed by rd f:\test\.vs works as expected with no error messages - in both cmd and powershell. The OP has a different problem than escaping anything.
    – DavidPostill
    Jan 19, 2016 at 15:29
  • I can't argue with that. If OP should happen to read your comment and provide additional information I'll remove my bogus comments. Jan 19, 2016 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


To remove files/folders that start with ., you have to use the -Force parameter.

That's because PowerShell is treating them as read-only/hidden.


Had similar problem trying to delete a project I created in wrong folder with dotnet CLI. In my case .vs is a hidden folder, so I used rd with -force switch to remove it.

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