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How to Delete folder that says “Cannot read from the source file or disk”


Got this little gem the other day while trying to delete some folders off a Share Drive. Of course, the first thing I do is fire up my website and search for the answer (HA!) and I was shocked to see I hadn’t ever blogged the fix..for shame! Anyway, here is the solution to this error:

“Cannot delete file: Cannot read from source file or disk”

The reason this happened is the client was using Macs and PCs in a mixed environment and the Mac had put in some bad filenames (from the Windows perspective).  In this case the folder names ended in a space ” ” but I have read of this error also occurring with folders and files ending in periods “.”

So, if you get this error, open up Command Prompt on your PC and enter this text:

del “\\?\C:\Folder Name\Inside Folder\Filename.”


rd “\\?\C:\Folder Name\Inside Folder “

You get the idea.

Tip: When you are in the Command Prompt, right before you go to type in the Folder Name or Filename of the file or directory you wish to delete, try pressing the TAB key to cycle through the available files and folder names…


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