This documentation was written to describe the 1.6.x series of Subversion. If you are running a different version of Subversion, you are strongly encouraged to visit and instead consult the version of this documentation appropriate for your version of Subversion.


svn delete (del, remove, rm) — Delete an item from a working copy or the repository.


svn delete PATH...

svn delete URL...


Items specified by PATH are scheduled for deletion upon the next commit. Files (and directories that have not been committed) are immediately removed from the working copy unless the --keep-local option is given. The command will not remove any unversioned or modified items; use the --force option to override this behavior.

Items specified by URL are deleted from the repository via an immediate commit. Multiple URLs are committed atomically.


--editor-cmd CMD
--encoding ENC
--file (-F) FILENAME
--message (-m) MESSAGE
--quiet (-q)
--targets FILENAME
--with-revprop ARG


Using svn to delete a file from your working copy deletes your local copy of the file, but it merely schedules the file to be deleted from the repository. When you commit, the file is deleted in the repository.

$ svn delete myfile
D         myfile

$ svn commit -m "Deleted file 'myfile'."
Deleting       myfile
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 14.

Deleting a URL, however, is immediate, so you have to supply a log message:

$ svn delete -m "Deleting file 'yourfile'" \

Committed revision 15.

Here's an example of how to force deletion of a file that has local mods:

$ svn delete over-there 
svn: Attempting restricted operation for modified resource
svn: Use --force to override this restriction
svn: 'over-there' has local modifications

$ svn delete --force over-there 
D         over-there

Use the --keep-local option to override the default svn delete behavior of also removing the target file that was scheduled for versioned deletion. This is helpful when you realize that you've accidentally committed the addition of a file that you need to keep around in your working copy, but which shouldn't have been added to version control.

$ svn delete --keep-local conf/program.conf
D         conf/program.conf

$ svn commit -m "Remove accidentally-added configuration file."
Deleting       conf/program.conf
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 21.
$ svn status
?       conf/program.conf