Python OS Remove

Python programming language has an “OS” module that offers tools for communicating with the operating system. The “OS” is incorporated into the basic utility modules for Python. This theme offers a flexible way of using the operating platform features. A file path can be wiped or deleted in Python using the “os.remove()” function. This methodology cannot be used to eliminate or abolish a directory.The procedure produces “OSError” if a directory is what the given path is. A directory can only be deleted using the “os.rmdir()” module. This configuration can delete the files permanently.


The syntax that is used in the Python OS remove method is given in the following:

This syntax has two parameters. The first parameter refers to “path” which is an object that resembles a file path and represents it. A text or bytes object that expresses a path is a path-like object. The second parameter “dir_fd” is a directory that is referenced by a file descriptor. This parameter’s default value is none.

Example 1: Utilizing the “Os.Remove()” Module to Remove the File from the Directory

Whenever we need to remove a folder that is just wasting our memory space and we do not require it for any useful purpose, we decide to remove it from our system. For that, we use this method simply where we access or grant the location of the file directly to remove it and make sure that we can only remove the empty folders from our directory.

import os
Python_file = ‘Python_file.txt
location = “/Users/AqsaYasin/Documents”
python_path = os.path.join(location, Python_file)
print(“%s has been removed from the directory . . .” %Python_file)

Let us discuss the code snippet of the Python OS remove method from the given snapshot in the following.

In this example of OS remove, we need its interaction with the operating system. We import the library of “OS” first. Then, we create a path function for the file named “Python_file” and assign it the value of the file in the current directory of “Python_file.txt”. Now, we apply the “location” to provide it with the actual path location of the file from our directory which we can see in the previous code snapshot.

Then, we create the “Python_path”. Here, we apply the “os.path.join()” function to have its interaction of joining the “location” of our file and the “Python_file” where the exact file is assigned. After using the “os.path.join()” function, we use our main function of the “os.remove()” function on “Python_path”. Lastly, we use the “print()” function with the print statement after finding and removing the file from the directory. It displays the statement on the output screen without returning any value:

Our “Python_file.txt” is removed from the directory and the code displays the given output on the screen.

Example 2: Utilizing the “Os.Remove()” Module If the Given Path Leads to a Directory

The names of files or directories are followed by slashes to divide a string of directory names that make up a path. A folder and a directory are essentially the same things.

import os
Our_path = “/Users/AqsaYasin/Documents”
print(“% s has been removed from the directory . . .” %Python_file)

In the discussion of our second example, we need to clarify first that we first import the “OS” library and provide the path of our directory as “Our_path” and assign our directory to it where the file name is “Java”. Then, we apply the “os.remove()” function on “Our_path” where the whole directory path is assigned. As we know, this function can remove the only empty file, not the location path which leads to the directory. Finally, the print statement remains the same as we used in the previous example in the “print()” function. Since the file that we assign in the “print()” function is not provided to the path, it leads towards the directory.

The output screen generates the error in line “4” as we provide the path for the “Java” file. But we apply the “os.remove()” function on the “Our_path” where we are willing to remove the “Python_file”.

Example 3: Utilizing the “Os.Remove()” Module While Handling the Error

When the file names or paths are invalid or nonexistent and the other arguments have the right type but the operating system does not accept them, all functions in the OS module raise the “OSError” exception. This method tries to control the maximum error handling as it can.

import os
Our_path = “/Users/AqsaYasin/Documents/Java”
print(“% s It is being removed” %Our_path)
except OSError as Handling_eror:
print(“Our File path is unable to remove”)

In this code, we import the “OS” library again as we did in the previous examples. The path also remains the same as “Our_path” and the location of the file directory is also the same as it was in the previous example. Then, we use the “try” and “except” conditions to handle the error most efficiently if it arises. In the “try” condition, we use the “os.remove()” function on “Our_path” and “print()” function with the print statement, “It is being Removed”. The “% s” is used to read “Our_path” if the file could be found from the respective path.

If the file to be removed is not found, we use the “except” condition and use the “OSError” as the variable name of “Handling_error”. We also use the “print()” function to print the error that it handles and also print the message if the file is not found within the “print()” function of the “Our File path is unable to remove” print statement.

Since the respective path is not well-defined, it generates the error which is “20” within the directory path that we provide and print the statement on the output screen that we provide in the “except” condition in the previous code.

Example 4: Utilizing the “Os.Remove()” Module for the Non-Existing File in the Directory

A non-existent file is essentially something that is absent from or does not exist in a specific location. We will discuss in this example if the file that we are looking to remove is absent in the directory and what the “os.remove()” function performss in code compilation.

import os
if os.path.exists(“mobile.txt):
print(“The Respective file does not exists”))

First, we import the “OS” library in our Python code and use the conditional statements in our code to remove the file. We use the “if-else” conditional statement where we provide the path in the “if” condition towards the file using the “os.path.exists()” function. If this path exists, it performs the “os.remove()” function on the file that we provide with the name, “mobile.txt”. In the “else” condition, we simply use the “print()” function for our output statement if the file is not found in the directory. The print statement that we provide is “The Respective file does not exist”.

The output displays the print statement in the “else” condition. This shows that only the “else” condition will run. The “mobile.txt” file is not present in the current directory. The compiler ignores the “if” condition because when it turns to find the file from the path as it did not even exist in the current working directly, no file is removed from our directory.


Our article on the Python “OS remove” covers four examples related to removing the file from the working directories. In the first example, we have seen the removing of the phenomenon of files from a directory by providing the path. While the second example reached the directory so it does not allow the removal but rather generates the error. The third example covered the error handling that could happen while reaching the directory path. And the last example allows us to know what would happen if we provide the path of the non-existence file in the Python OS remove.

About the author

Aqsa Yasin

I am a self-motivated information technology professional with a passion for writing. I am a technical writer and love to write for all Linux flavors and Windows.