How to use Kill statement in VBA?

The Kill statement in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is used to delete files from your system. It’s a powerful command that must be used with caution, as it will permanently remove the specified files. Here’s how you can use the Kill statement in VBA:

Basic Usage

Kill filePath

filePath: This is the path of the file you want to delete. It can include a full path, a relative path, or just the file name if the file is in the same directory as the Excel workbook.


Sub DeleteFile()
    Dim filePath As String
    filePath = "C:\path\to\your\file.txt"  ' Specify the file path

    On Error Resume Next  ' In case the file does not exist
    Kill filePath
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then
        MsgBox "File not found or unable to delete.", vbExclamation
        MsgBox "File deleted successfully.", vbInformation
    End If
End Sub

In this example:

  • The filePath variable is set to the full path of the file you want to delete.
  • The On Error Resume Next statement is used to handle the case where the file does not exist or cannot be deleted (for example, if it’s open in another program).
  • The Kill command attempts to delete the file.
  • The If Err.Number <> 0 Then checks if there was an error in deleting the file, and if so, it displays an appropriate message.

Important Points

  • Use with Caution: Since Kill permanently deletes files, be very careful with the file paths you specify. Accidental deletion of important files can occur.
  • Error Handling: Always include error handling when using Kill to manage situations where the file might not exist or is locked by another process.
  • Wildcards: You can also use wildcards with Kill. For example, Kill “C:\path\to\folder\*.txt” will delete all .txt files in the specified folder.
  • Permission Issues: Be aware that attempting to delete a file that is open in another application or for which you don’t have sufficient permissions will result in an error.
  • File Recovery: Deleted files might not always be recoverable from the Recycle Bin, depending on the system settings and the way VBA interacts with the file system.

Always double-check your file paths and ensure that your code includes adequate error handling when using the Kill statement.

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