C# – How to delete a read-only file


I've got a junk directory where I toss downloads, one-off projects, email drafts, and other various things that might be useful for a few days but don't need to be saved forever. To stop this directory from taking over my machine, I wrote a program that will delete all files older than a specified number of days and logs some statistics about the number of files deleted and their size just for fun.

I noticed that a few project folders were living way longer than they should, so I started to investigate. In particular, it seemed that folders for projects in which I had used SVN were sticking around. It turns out that the read-only files in the .svn directories are not being deleted. I just did a simple test on a read-only file and discovered that System.IO.File.Delete and System.IO.FileInfo.Delete will not delete a read-only file.

I don't care about protecting files in this particular directory; if something important is in there it's in the wrong place. Is there a .NET class that can delete read-only files, or am I going to have to check for read-only attributes and strip them?

Best Answer

According to File.Delete's documentation,, you'll have to strip the read-only attribute. You can set the file's attributes using File.SetAttributes().

using System.IO;

File.SetAttributes(filePath, FileAttributes.Normal);