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Node FS – Delete a File using unlink() or unlinkSync() functions

Node.js – Delete File

To delete a file in Node.js, Node FS unlink(path, callback) can be used for asynchronous file operation and unlinkSync(path) can be used for synchronous file operation.

In this Node.js Tutorial, a step by step guide is provided to delete a file with node fs and well detailed examples.

Steps to Delete File in Node.js

Following is a step by step guide to delete a File programmatically in Node.js.

Step 1: Include File System module to your Node.js program.

var fs = require('fs');

We will use unlink() and unlinkSync() functions of this module.

Step 2: Delete file asynchronously using unlink() function. Syntax is provided below

fs.unlink(filePath, callbackFunction)

Once an attempt is made to delete the file, callback function is called with error (as argument) if any.

Step 3: To delete file synchronously, use unlinkSync() function. Syntax is provided below.

fs.unlinkSync(filePath)

wherefilePath is a String that represents path of the file to be deleted.

Example 1 – Delete file asynchronously using Node FS unlink() function

For this example, make sure there is a file named ‘sample.txt’ next to the node.js example program.

Create following Node.js program, , to delete a file named in Node.js.

deleteFile.js

// include node fs module var fs = require('fs'); // delete file named 'sample.txt' fs.unlink('sample.txt', function (err) { if (err) throw err; // if no error, file has been deleted successfully console.log('File deleted!'); });

Open terminal or command prompt and run this program using node command as shown below.

Output

$ node deleteFile.js File deleted!

The file is successfully deleted.

Example 2 – Delete file synchronously using Node FS unlinkSync() function

Create following Node.js program to delete a file in Node.js Synchronously. This is helpful if statements next to the delete operation depend on the file you delete. unlinkSync() function makes sure that file is deleted(if it exists) before the execution of subsequent statements.

deleteFileSynchronously.js

// include node fs module var fs = require('fs'); // delete file named 'sample.txt' Synchronously fs.unlinkSync('sample.txt'); console.log('File deleted!');

Open terminal or command prompt and run this program using node command as shown below.

Output

$ node deleteFileSynchronously.js File deleted!

The file is successfully deleted.

Example 3 – File specified to delete is not present. (Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory)

For this example, make sure there is no file named ‘sample11.txt’ next to the node.js example program. We will simulate the condition that we tried to delete a file which is not present at the location.

deleteFile2.js

// include node fs module var fs = require('fs'); // delete file named 'sample.txt' fs.unlink('sample11.txt', function (err) { if (err) throw err; // if no error, file has been deleted successfully console.log('File deleted!'); });

Open terminal or command prompt and run this program using node command as shown below.

Output

$ node deleteFile2.js /home/arjun/workspace/nodejs/deleteFile2.js:6 if (err) throw err; ^ Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, unlink 'sample11.txt'

As the file is not present, an error is thrown saying ‘no such file or directory’.

Conclusion

Concluding this Node.js Tutorial – Node FS, we have learned to delete a File in Node.js using Node FS (File System) built-in module.

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How to Delete a File From a Directory with Node.js

Introduction

Are you looking for a way to delete or remove a file from a directory using Node.js? This article will show you how to get that done.

Node.js has a built-in way to do this with their File System (Fs) core module, which has both a and method to remove a file.

The synchronous version will stop your code and wait until the file has been removed or an error occurred. And the asynchronous version will not block your code and return a callback function when the file is removed.

We'll show you how to use both examples.

fs.unlink()

First, let's go over the approach:

Let's break down each part of the code:

  1. First, we import the module and hold it in the variable.
  2. Next, we get the path to our file and hold it in a variable.
  3. Then, we use the function. We pass the file path to the function and it returns a callback.
  4. Inside the callback function, we do some error handling and then, if successful, we a success message.

And if you look in your directory, you should see the file in question removed.

fs.unlinkSync()

Next, let's go over the synchronous method:

Similar to the previous example, we require the module and then get the path to the file.

But then we use a statement. In the section, we pass the variable to the function and log a success message when the file is removed. And we use the section to throw any errors that occur.

When you look in your directory, the file will be removed.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article was helpful in your coding endeavors.

Thanks for reading and happy coding!

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How to Delete a File or Directory in Node.js

This article shows you a couple of different ways to remove a file or a directory using Node.js. We’ll use modern Javascript (ES6 and newer) and the latest features provided by Node.js core. No third-party libraries need to be installed.

Removing FIles

Using fsPromises.unlink() with async/await

Nowadays developers often prefer to use async/await over callback functions.

Example:

If the file exists, you will see this:

Otherwise, the output should look like this:

Using fs.unlink() and fs.unlinkSync()

You can use the unlink() method from the fs module to asynchronously unlink a file. There is no need to check whether the file exists before executing deletion.

Example:

If you want to synchronously unlink a file, use the unlinkSync() method instead:

Removing Directories

Using fsPromises.rmdir() with async/await

If you want to delete a folder and all files and subfolders inside it, you can use fsPromises.rmdir() with the recursive: true option, like this:

If you only want to remove an empty folder, just set recursive to false.

Full Example:

Using fs.rmdir() and fs.rmdirSync()

If you like the old fashion of Node.js, you can use the rmdir() method to asynchronously remove a directory or use the rmdirSync() method to synchronously remove a directory.

Example:

Conclusion

We’ve walked through a few of examples of deleting files and directories in Node.js. If you’d like to learn more interesting stuff about this Javascript runtime, take a look at the following articles:

You can also check out our Node.js category page or PHP category page for the latest tutorials and examples.

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