Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Remove Empty Directories

RED finds, displays, and deletes empty directories recursively below a given start folder. Furthermore, it allows you to create custom rules for keeping and deleting folders (e.g. treat directories with empty files as empty).


  • Simple user interface
  • Shows empty directories before deleting them
  • Supports multiple delete modes (including Delete to recycle bin)
  • Allows white and blacklisting of directories by using filter lists
  • Can detect directories with empty files as empty

System requirements

  • Windows 7 or 10
    • Version 2.2 should also still work with older Windows versions like XP or Vista
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 or later
    • The installer checks for the right version and installs it if missing

How to contribute to the project

You are very welcome to contribute code, translations, or anything else :)

Here are some tasks you can help with:

  • Look at open issues/bugs and try to fix them
  • Fix typos and general wording
  • Optimize user interface
  • Create a strategy/foundation for translations, are there any existing frameworks/concepts?
  • Add unit tests


The first version of RED was created by Jonas John around 2005.

Since then a small team of contributors helped to fix bugs and add new features.



  • Disabled settings during active search or deletion process
  • Refactored the interface to improve the design and usability
    • Divided packed settings tab into three separate tabs
    • Renamed some options and captions to make more sense
    • Added more descriptions and examples to explain settings
    • Increased default window size and added more whitespace to make it look less crowded
  • Optimized config defaults
    • Set pause between deletions to zero because the default delete to recycle bin method is slow enough to not overwhelm the GUI
    • Deleted some unnecessary entries and updated some values
    • Removed *.tmp as default pattern to make the default settings safer because those files could still contain valuable data in some cases.
  • Long paths support and other improvements (contributed by gioccher, see #5)
    • Fix crash due to case sensitivity of paths
    • Speed up crawl and deletion by disabling UI updates (dubbed fast mode)
    • Long path support by switching to AlphaFS
    • And more minor improvements (see closed pull request #5 for details)
  • Ignore folders newer than N hours #3 (contributed by jsytniak, see #3)


  • Improved error handling
  • Added logging of errors and deleted directories
  • Added multiple delete modes (e.g. delete to recycle bin)
  • Implemented a function to delete a single empty directory
  • Implemented optional function to detect paths in clipboard
  • Infinite loop detection
  • Added a few new configuration settings
  • Removed counting method to increase speed
  • Replaced old custom settings module with the default settings framework of .NET to be more standard-compliant (This should fix problems some users had when starting RED)


  • Implemented a "Protect" and "Unprotect" function to let the user choose folders to keep
  • Implemented an update button for a fast update check


  • Created the installer (using NSIS)
  • Updated this readme file


  • Added better-looking icons to the GUI
  • Corrected and updates some texts


  • Finished the main parts of the application
  • Added XML configuration file


  • Removed some main parts of the new application and started using the "BackgroundWorker" for threading support.


  • Finished the first prototype of the C# version


  • Started the development of an entirely new version of RED by using Microsoft Visual C# (.NET 2.0)


  • Updated the readme and changed the license from GPL to LGPL
  • fixed some small issues


  • Fixed the gauge in the process window
  • implemented a second safety check to prevent deleting filled folders


  • renamed the program to RED (Remove empty directories)
  • made a new icon


  • changes some structure things, renamed functions, renamed variables
  • corrected code, fixed some issues...
  • optional logfile implemented
  • other minor changes
  • updated version history -> complete rewrite ;)


  • Added a readme, the licenses
  • Translated the readme into English


  • Cleaned the directories and sorted the files
  • Renamed some functions and variables, to make it look better

0.6 + 0.7

  • I learned about WinBinder (A native Windows binding for PHP) and converted the program to PHP with a Windows GUI using WinBinder


0.2 - 0.4

  • Minor changes
  • Added filters to exclude some folders like the recycler


  • I made a simple perl script to delete empty folders, I called it "DEF" (Delete Empty Folders)


Third-party components

Icon sources

  • Nuvola icons (GNU LGPL 2.1. license)
  • NuoveXT icons (GPL license)
  • famfamfam silk icons (Creative Commons Attribution license)
  • Coffee icon by Ivan Freaner
  • Ignore list icon taken from "Primo Icon Set" made by Webdesigner Depot
    • License: Free of charge for personal or commercial purposes


RED is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


A application that searches, displays and deletes empty directories recursively written in C#