This feature is obsolete. Although it may still work in some browsers, its use is discouraged since it could be removed at any time. Try to avoid using it.

This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The FileSystemDirectoryEntry interface's method removeRecursively() removes the directory as well as all of its content, hierarchically iterating over its entire subtree of descendant files and directories.

To remove a single file, or an empty directory, you can also use FileSystemEntry.remove().


FileSystemDirectoryEntry.removeRecursively(successCallback[, errorCallback]);


A function to call once the directory removal process has completed. The callback has no parameters.
errorCallback Optional
A function to be called if an error occurs while attempting to remove the directory subtree. Receives a FileError describing the error which occurred as input.

Return value



If an error occurs and an errorCallback was specified, it gets called with a single parameter: a FileError object describing the error. The FileError.code specifies what type of error occurred, as follows:

An attempt was made to remove the root directory; this is not permitted.
The file system's state doesn't permit modification.
The directory represented by the FileSystemDirectoryEntry no longer exists.
The directory is not accessible; perhaps it's in use by another application or is locked at the operating system level.
The directory could not be removed for security reasons. Possible reasons include:
  • The directory and/or its contents may not be safe to access from a Web application.
  • Too many file system calls are being made.
  • Other security concerns as raised by the user agent or the operating system.

If you try to delete a directory which contains one or more files that can't be removed, or if an error occurs while deletion of a number of files is underway, some files may not be deleted. You should provide an errorCallback to watch for and handle this, perhaps by trying again.


directory.removeRecursively(function() {
  /* The directory was removed successfully */
}, function() {
  /* an error occurred while removing the directory */


Specification Status Comment
File and Directory Entries API
The definition of 'getDirectory()' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Now removed from spec!

This API has no official W3C or WHATWG specification.

Browser compatibility

We're converting our compatibility data into a machine-readable JSON format. This compatibility table still uses the old format, because we haven't yet converted the data it contains. Find out how you can help!

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 13 webkit No support[1] No support No support No support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 0.16webkit No support[1] No support No support No support

[1] Although this method exists in Firefox 50, it currently immediately calls the errorCallback with an NS_ERROR_DOM_NOT_SUPPORTED error. It has been removed altogether as of Firefox 52.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: chrisdavidmills, Sheppy
Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,