Java File delete()

In this guide, you will learn about the Java File delete() method in Java programming and how to use it with an example.

1. Java File delete() Method Overview


The delete() method is used to delete the file or directory represented by the current File object. If this file represents a directory, then the directory must be empty in order to be deleted.


public boolean delete()



Key Points:

- The method returns true if the file or directory is successfully deleted; false otherwise.

- If the File object represents a directory, the directory must be empty for the deletion to succeed.

- The method does not throw an exception if the deletion fails.

- The delete() method does not throw an IOException if the file does not exist, it simply returns false.

- To ensure that a file is deleted when the JVM terminates, you can use the deleteOnExit() method instead.

- It's essential to check the return value of delete() to confirm if the operation was successful.

2. Java File delete() Method Example


public class DeleteFileExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Specify the path of the file to be deleted
        File file = new File("sample.txt");

        // Try to delete the file
        if (file.delete()) {
            System.out.println("File deleted successfully!");
        } else {
            System.out.println("Failed to delete the file or file not found.");


(File exists and is deleted)
File deleted successfully!

(File does not exist or deletion failed)
Failed to delete the file or file not found.


In the provided example, we attempt to delete a file named "sample.txt" in the current directory. If the file exists and is successfully deleted, "File deleted successfully!" is printed. If it doesn't exist or some other error prevents deletion, "Failed to delete the file or file not found." is displayed. 

This straightforward method provides a simple way to remove files or empty directories, but care should be taken to ensure the file is not in use and that the program has the necessary permissions to perform the delete operation.