Delete With Unlinksync Node

Introduction to Node’s UnlinkSync method

Node’s fs.unlinkSync() method is used to remove (delete) a file synchronously from the file system. Synchronous operations in Node.js are blocking, meaning that the program will pause and wait for the operation to complete before moving on to the next line of code. This is useful when we want to ensure that a file is completely removed before proceeding with the next operation.

The unlinkSync() method takes in a file path as its argument and deletes the file at that location. If the file does not exist or cannot be deleted, it will throw an error.

Here is an example usage of the unlinkSync() method:

const fs = require('fs');

try {
  console.log('File was successfully deleted.');
} catch (error) {
  console.error('Error while deleting file:', error);

It’s important to note that the unlinkSync() method only works for deleting files, not directories. To delete a directory and its contents, we need to use the rmdirSync() method instead.

What happens when you delete a file with UnlinkSync in Node?

When you delete a file with UnlinkSync in Node, the file is immediately deleted from the file system. This is because UnlinkSync is a synchronous method which means that it executes immediately and blocks other code from running until it’s finished.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using UnlinkSync:

  • If the file you’re trying to delete doesn’t exist, UnlinkSync will throw an error.
  • If the file is currently being used by another process, UnlinkSync will not be able to delete it and will throw an error.
  • If you’re running your Node application on a network file system, such as NFS, a file may not be immediately deleted due to file caching. In this case, you may need to wait for the cache to clear before the file is actually deleted.

Overall, UnlinkSync is a powerful tool for deleting files in Node, but it’s important to be aware of its behavior and limitations when using it in your applications.

Pros and Cons of using UnlinkSync to delete files in Node.js

When it comes to deleting files in Node.js, there are a few options to choose from. One of them is using the UnlinkSync method. However, as with any method, there are both pros and cons to using it.


  • Simple to use: UnlinkSync is a straightforward method and can be easily implemented in your code.
  • Syncronous: UnlinkSync is a synchronous method which means that the file will be deleted immediately. This can be beneficial if you need to delete the file before executing the next line of code.
  • Error handling: UnlinkSync will throw an error if it is unable to delete the file. This can make it easier to debug your code if there are any issues.


  • Blocking: UnlinkSync is a blocking method which means that it can slow down your code if you are deleting multiple files or large files.
  • No undo: Once you use UnlinkSync to delete a file, it cannot be recovered. This can be an issue if you accidentally delete the wrong file.
  • Potential data loss: If your code crashes while using UnlinkSync, there is a possibility that not all of the files will be deleted. This can lead to data loss if you are not careful.

Overall, UnlinkSync can be a useful method for deleting files in Node.js, but it is important to consider the potential drawbacks before using it in your project.

Understanding the syntax of UnlinkSync method in Node.js

The UnlinkSync method is used in Node.js for deleting a file synchronously. It is a part of the ‘fs’ module which provides an API for interacting with the file system. The syntax for using the UnlinkSync method is as follows:


The ‘path’ parameter in this syntax represents the location of the file that needs to be deleted. It should be a string that holds the absolute or relative path of the file.

It is important to note that the UnlinkSync method is a synchronous method, meaning that it will not move on to the next line until the file has been successfully deleted. In case of any error, it will throw an exception and the error needs to be handled properly using try-catch blocks.

Here is an example of using the UnlinkSync method:

const fs = require('fs');

try {
  console.log('File deleted successfully');
} catch(err) {

In this example, the UnlinkSync method is used to delete the ‘file.txt’ file from the current directory. If the file is deleted successfully, the console will log ‘File deleted successfully’, otherwise it will log the error that occurred.

Use cases for UnlinkSync method in Node.js for file deletion

Node.js provides various methods to manage files and directories. One such method is UnlinkSync, which is used to delete a file from the file system synchronously. Here are some use cases where UnlinkSync method in Node.js can come in handy:

  • Removing temporary files: Many applications require creating temporary files during runtime. These files are needed only for a short period of time and can be deleted afterwards to free up disk space. UnlinkSync method can be used to remove these temporary files.
  • Deleting log files: In server-side applications, log files are generated to keep track of errors and other information. Over time, these log files can consume a lot of disk space. UnlinkSync can be used to delete old log files and free up disk space.
  • Deleting user-generated content: In applications that allow users to upload files, such as images and videos, there may be a need to delete these files when the user decides to remove them. UnlinkSync method can be used to delete these files from the server.
  • Cleaning up cache: To improve performance, many applications use caching to store frequently accessed data. When the cache becomes too large, it can be deleted to free up memory. UnlinkSync method can be used to remove old cache files.

In summary, UnlinkSync method in Node.js is a useful tool for deleting files from the file system synchronously. It can be used in various scenarios, such as deleting temporary files, log files, user-generated content, and cache files to free up disk space and improve performance.

Alternative methods to delete files in Node.js

While the unlinkSync method is the most straightforward way to delete files in Node.js, there are other methods you can use depending on your use case:

  • unlink: This method is similar to unlinkSync, but it is asynchronous. This means that it does not block the event loop and can handle large files without causing performance issues. You can use it like this:
  • fs.unlink(path, (err) => {
      if (err) throw err;
      console.log('File deleted!');
  • rimraf: This is a third-party package that provides a cross-platform way to delete files and directories recursively. It can also handle file paths that exceed the maximum path length on Windows. You can install it with:
  • npm install rimraf

    And use it like this:

    const rimraf = require('rimraf');
    rimraf(path, (err) => {
      if (err) throw err;
      console.log('File deleted!');
  • fs-extra: This is another third-party package that provides additional functionality to the built-in fs module, including a remove method that deletes files and directories recursively. You can install it with:
  • npm install fs-extra

    And use it like this:

    const fs = require('fs-extra');
    fs.remove(path, (err) => {
      if (err) throw err;
      console.log('File deleted!');

Choose the method that best fits your needs and be careful when deleting files, as it is a destructive operation that cannot be undone.

Conclusion: Is UnlinkSync method the best way to delete files in Node.js?

After reviewing various methods for deleting files in Node.js, we can conclude that UnlinkSync method is a fast and efficient way to delete files synchronously. However, it should be used with caution as it can block the event loop and cause issues with performance, especially when dealing with large files or high traffic systems. It is recommended to consider using other asynchronous methods such as Unlink or FS Promises which provide similar functionality but do not block the event loop. Ultimately, the choice of method depends on the specific needs and requirements of the application.

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