rm - macOS


rm is a fundamental command in macOS used to delete files or directories from the filesystem. It is widely employed to declutter storage, reorganize files, and remove obsolete or unwanted data.


rm [options] [paths...]

Required Arguments:

  • paths: Specifies the target files or directories to be deleted.


  • -f, –force: Suppresses prompts to confirm deletion.
  • -i, –interactive: Prompts for confirmation before deleting each item.
  • -r, –recursive: Deletes directories and their contents recursively.
  • -v, –verbose: Displays the names of deleted items.


  • Delete a single file:
rm file.txt
  • Delete multiple files:
rm file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt
  • Delete a directory recursively:
rm -r directory_name
  • Delete files with specific extensions:
rm *.txt

Common Issues

  • Deleting essential system files: Avoid deleting files or directories in system folders unless absolutely necessary.
  • Accidental deletion: Use the -i flag to prevent accidental deletions.
  • Permission denied: Ensure you have the necessary permissions to delete the target items.


  • Piping output: Pipe the output of find to rm for bulk deletion.
  • Scripting: Automate deletion tasks using shell scripts or other programming tools.
  • mkdir: Creates directories.
  • mv: Renames or moves files or directories.
  • cp: Copies files or directories.