Kill folder clutter with Remove Empty Directories

Remove Empty Directories deletes empty folders that clutter up your folder tree.

For many of us, empty directory folders are a cause for little concern. Sure it's annoying when you open a folder, not able to remember its contents, and discover it emptier than your fridge on a midnight munchies run. That annoyance--the empty folders, not the empty fridge--has spurned one programmer to action. Remove Empty Directories is the result, and it's not hard to guess what it does.

The program contains few bells or whistles. It's a tiny program, at around 350KB, and it's far easier to use than fixing up a late-night nachos grande. Fire it up and it greets you with a mostly blank panel and an icon key to understanding your results. Above the panel resides a place for you to specify a particular folder or drive to search through. Otherwise, the program will just check your C drive.

RED makes parsing empty directories a cinch. (Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

At the bottom is a Scan Folders button. It takes a while to scan an entire drive, but of course that depends on your computer's resources and the size of the drive. When finished, it coughs up a folder tree marked according to the right-hand key. Red folders are scheduled to be terminated, while gray ones won't be touched. You can access the Protected feature, which colors the folder blue, in the context menu.

Once you have your list ready to go, hit the Delete button at the bottom and watch the extinction scroll past your eyes. When finished, you'll see an updated folder tree. Some folders that you had hoped would "go away" are still around, which means that they couldn't be deleted. They might contain hidden files or be connected to a program that relies on having them around.

RED includes both basic and advanced settings, for a wide range of users. (Credit: CNET Networks Inc.)

The Settings tab provides a mix of basic and advanced options, including integration into Windows Explorer, Don't scan hidden folders, customizable protocol for ignoring or skipping certain user-defined folders, as well as setting the Max depth for folder parsing.

RED is clearly aimed at those who like knowing exactly what's in their folder tree, or those who hate programs that leave behind empty folders as territorial markings of their presence. It functions well, and makes a useful if esoteric system utility.