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Windows Shortcut to Faster Delete

I’ve been getting quite annoyed with Windows XP recently because every time I try to delete files in Windows Explorer it takes minutes or even hours – sometimes even for one small file.

Until today, I’ve resorted to using a command prompt and using del <filename> or rmdir /s <directory> to delete it. This works and is as quick as it gets, but it can be a bit fiddly.

So, today, prompted by a half remembered comment from someone, I tried a few combinations of keys and found that by selecting the files in Windows Explorer and the using the <SHIFT><Del> key combination instead of just <Del> deletes the files much quicker.

The big difference is that the normal Windows Explorer delete just moves the files to the Recycle Bin – allowing you to recover them later whereas using <SHIFT><Del> permanently deletes them – you have been warned!

While on the subject – I was trying to clear out some Jetty work directories and these tended to get quite deep (more about that in a future posting) so the pathnames became too long for poor old Windows to handle.  The solution to this turned out to be to move the offending directory somewhere higher up where the full path would be shorter.  I had to do this to a couple of the deeply nested java packages and it worked a treat – the files were deleted no problems.

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