# Destroy Command (Team Foundation Version Control)

Last Update: 1/24/2017

Team Services | TFS 2015 | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio 2013

Use the tf destroy command to destroy, or permanently delete, version-controlled files from Team Foundation version control.

The destroy action cannot be reversed. You must not destroy files that are still needed. Sometimes you have to clean up version control systems. For example, if some files are infected with a computer virus, you have to remove them permanently from version control.

Before you run tf destroy without the /keephistory option, we recommend that you first delete the files you want to destroy. For more information, see Delete Files and Folders from Version Control.

After you delete the files you can synchronize the Team Foundation warehouse. Otherwise, the warehouse will not be synchronized with the destroyed items.

Required Permissions

To use the destroy command, you must belong to the Team Foundation Administrators security group. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

tf destroy [/keephistory] <itemspec1>[;<versionspec>][<itemspec2>...<itemspecN>]
[/stopat:<versionspec>] [/preview] [/startcleanup] [/noprompt] [/silent] [/login:username,[password]] [/collection:TeamProjectCollectionUrl]]


## Parameters

Argument

Description

itemspec1 [itemspec2…itemspecN]

Specifies the server path of the file or folder to be destroyed. Use multiple itemspec values to delete multiple items. For example, tf destroy $/TeamProject1$/teamProject2 $/TeamProject3. Local paths are not supported. versionspec Provides a version such as C58 for the /keephistory or /stopat options. The allowed values are date, tip, or a specific changeset. For more information about how Team Foundation parses a version specification to determine which items are within its scope, see Command-Line Syntax (Version Control). username Provides a value to the /login option. You can specify a username value as either DOMAIN<em>UserName or UserName. TeamProjectCollectionUrl The URL of the team project collection that contains files that you want to destroy (for example, http://myserver:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection). Option Description /keephistory Optional. Specifies that the history of a file is preserved even as its contents are destroyed. This cannot be specified with the /preview option. /stopat Optional. Can be used only if /keephistory is specified also. Specifies the file version for the file, and the files that follow thereafter, for which the history is preserved. The default version for /stopat is tip (T) for the latest checked-in version of an item. You cannot use label or workspace versionspec values to specify an item for /stopat option. /preview Displays in the Command Prompt window the files that would be destroyed. When tf destroy runs in the preview mode, the files are not actually destroyed. Note: The text in the Command Prompt window displays the word "Destroyed" with each file that would be destroyed. However, the file is actually not destroyed when the /preview option is used. /startcleanup Forces the file content clean-up process to start immediately after the content deletion finishes. If the user does not specify /startcleanup, the destroyed content clean-up process occurs when the database maintenance cleans up all the files that are no longer referenced by Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. By default, the clean-up is scheduled to run once each day. /noprompt /i Specifies that the destruction of files is non-interactive. /i is an alias for /noprompt. /silent Specifies that, when you destroy files or folders, the output is not written to the command prompt window. /login Specifies the user name and password to authenticate the user with Team Foundation Server. /collection Specifies the team project collection. ## Remarks When you use tf destroy to destroy version-control files, the application tier of Team Foundation Server receives the destroy request and checks to see whether you are a member of the Team Foundation Administrators security group. If you are not a member, the system displays an error-message dialog box that tells you that you do not have sufficient permissions to perform the operation. After the system verifies your permissions, it runs the destroy command. This command deletes all file references, shelvesets, and pending changes. The actual destruction of files, which is a permanent deletion, happens the next time that the content that is no longer referenced by Team Foundation Server is cleaned up. You can also specify the /startcleanup option to clean up the files immediately after tf destroy runs. If you run tf destroy without specifying /i and /preview, the system displays a console Yes or No prompt for each filespec value. Otherwise, you can specify Yes to all. If you do not specify /keephistory, you are prompted by an interactive text that warns of pending changes, if they exist. The interactive text points to /preview if you want more information about the changes. If you specify /keephistory, you are also prompted by Yes, No, or All text. If you select Yes or All, the destruction process starts, and the server paths to the destroyed items appear in the Command Prompt window. Destroyed: <serverItem1> Destroyed: <serverItem2> Destroyed: ...  If you specified the versionspec value as a tip, the server paths displayed in the Command Prompt window include deletion IDs. For example, X123 might appear in the Command Prompt window. If you use the /preview option, the files are not destroyed, but the command-line text displays the files that would be destroyed. For example, if, at the command-line, you type tf destroy /preview$/Test1/MyProject/MyProject/Program.cs, the command window displays this text:

Destroyed: $/Test1/MyProject/MyProject/Program.cs However, the file is actually not destroyed because you used the /preview option. For more information about how to find the tf command-line utility, see Tf Command-Line Utility Commands. ### Effects of /keephistory on Other Version Control Operations If you specify the /keephistory option to retain the history of destroyed files, the files are treated as destroyed by the following Team Foundation version control operations: • **Change content **If you try to change the content of a destroyed file, for example edit or branch, the system issues an error message that states the content has been destroyed. • **Branch, merge, or unshelve **If you try to branch, merge, or unshelve destroyed items, the system issues an error message that states the content of the items has been destroyed. ### Destroying Previously Deleted Items If an item has already been deleted, a deletion ID is attached to it and results in a filename change. ## Examples ### Description The following example permanently deletes the file a.cs. ### Code C:\pi\ws1>tf destroy$/proj/pi/a.cs


### Description

The following example deletes a folder, aFolder, type at the command line:

C:\tf delete $/MyTeamProject/aFolder  ### Description To destroy the deleted item, aFolder, you must type at the command line: ### Code tf destroy$/MyTeamProject/sFolder;x123


Where x123 is the deletion ID.

## See Also

#### Tasks

Destroy Version Controlled Files

#### Concepts

Operations Available Only From the Command-Line (Team Foundation Version Control)

#### Other Resources

Tf Command-Line Utility Commands