I copied some files using macOS Finder to an exFAT partition so I ended up having lots of hidden dot files in the folder. I can delete them without any issue in Explorer, but whenever I run the del command I always get "Could Not Find" error in cmd even though they can be listed with dir

D:\>dir /a "D:\._DSCF0035.JPG"
 Volume in drive D is Data
 Volume Serial Number is 7802-8428

 Directory of D:\

12/04/2021  10:08 SA             4.096 ._DSCF0035.JPG

D:\>del "D:\._DSCF0035.JPG"
Could Not Find D:\._DSCF0035.JPG

D:\>del /f "D:\._DSCF0035.JPG"
Could Not Find D:\._DSCF0035.JPG

In PowerShell I also got error if deleting normally but if I add -Force to Remove-Item it succeeded

PS D:\> ls -Force "D:\._DSCF0009.JPG"

    Directory: D:\

Mode                 LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                 -------------         ------ ----
-a-h--         4/12/2021  10:08 AM           4096 ._DSCF0009.JPG

PS D:\> rm "D:\._DSCF0009.JPG"
rm : Cannot remove item D:\._DSCF0009.JPG: You do not have sufficient access rights to perform this
At line:1 char:1
+ rm "D:\._DSCF0009.JPG"
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : PermissionDenied: (D:\._DSCF0009.JPG:FileInfo) [Remove-Item], IOException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : RemoveFileSystemItemUnAuthorizedAccess,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.RemoveItemCommand
PS D:\> rm -Force "D:\._DSCF0009.JPG" # Succeeded
PS D:\>

I tried starting cmd and PowerShell in normal and elevated mode but the same thing happens. Why does it fail in every case except Explorer and PowerShell with -Force?

  • What version of Windows did this happen on? Example: Windows 10 1903
    – JG7
    Apr 17, 2021 at 2:50
  • @JG7 Windows 10 build 21359
    – phuclv
    Apr 17, 2021 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


Your file has the h attribute set; meaning it is hidden. That's why you can't delete when using del or Remove-Item unless you use the -Force parameter. From Remove-Item:

Forces the cmdlet to remove items that cannot otherwise be changed, such as hidden or read-only files or read-only aliases or variables.

  • In Explorer, the items are only visbie (and thus deletable) wen the "Show Hidden" option is selected. So "Show Hidden" puts Explorer in a persistent -Force state for browsing & deletion. Apr 17, 2021 at 6:38
  • But why doesn't it work in cmd when I also specify the /F option?
    – phuclv
    Apr 17, 2021 at 7:03
  • I think as the file is hidden del /f does not work, but del /a:h works. Apr 17, 2021 at 7:33
  • @ReddyLutonadio I tried del /a and it works
    – phuclv
    Apr 17, 2021 at 10:23
  • @phuclv just seen your comment so removed my answer
    – DuncG
    Apr 17, 2021 at 10:24

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