Finding and deleting zero sized files

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 23 Oct. 2007 / Last Updated on 23 Oct. 2007]

Cool command-line trick for finding and deleting bogus files.

A consultant told me about a problem he had heard about where an IT person restored something on their server and they ended up with thousands of bogus files that had zero file size. The IT person was wondering if there was some easy way of finding all the zero sized files and deleting them. After discussing with some colleagues, the consultant came back with this solution which he later shared with me:
  1. Open a command prompt on the server and type for /R %I in (*.*) do if "0"=="%~zI" echo del /f /q "%~fI" >> c:\zerosizefiles.bat
  2. Look through your zerosizefiles.bat file to make sure nothing important will get deleted.
  3. Run the zerosizefiles.bat file.

Pretty cool use of the command line, eh?


Mitch Tulloch is lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch is also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008, the first book from Microsoft Press about the exciting new server platform. For more information on these and other books written by Mitch, see

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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