SFTP Delete Folder Recursively on a Remote Server in Java

Deleting or removing a folder recursively on the remote server in java is easy using JSCH (SFTP) API. It is a common use case to delete or remove a folder on a remote server using an SFTP connection.

Below java code shows you how to make an SFTP connection and delete or remove a folder recursively on a remote server.

P.S. This article is updated and tested with JSch 0.1.55

package com.kodehelp.sftp;

import java.util.Vector;
import com.jcraft.jsch.Channel;
import com.jcraft.jsch.ChannelSftp;
import com.jcraft.jsch.JSch;
import com.jcraft.jsch.Session;
import com.jcraft.jsch.SftpException;
 * @author https://kodehelp.com
public class DeleteFolderFromSFTPServer {
    static Session session = null;
    static Channel channel = null;
    static ChannelSftp channelSftp = null;
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String SFTPHOST = ""; // SFTP Host Name or SFTP Host IP Address
        int SFTPPORT = 22; // SFTP Port Number
        String SFTPUSER = "SFTPUSER"; // User Name
        String SFTPPASS = "SFTP Password"; // Password
        String SFTPWORKINGDIR = "/home/kodehelp/temp"; // Source Directory on SFTP server in which the file is located
                                                       // on remote server
        boolean deletedflag = false;
        try {
            JSch jsch = new JSch();
            session = jsch.getSession(SFTPUSER, SFTPHOST, SFTPPORT);
            java.util.Properties config = new java.util.Properties();
            config.put("StrictHostKeyChecking", "no");
            session.connect(); // Create SFTP Session
            channel = session.openChannel("sftp"); // Open SFTP Channel
            channelSftp = (ChannelSftp) channel;
            deletedflag = true;
            if (deletedflag)
                System.out.println("folder deleted");
        } catch (Exception ex) {
        } finally {
            if (channelSftp != null)
            if (channel != null)
            if (session != null)

    private static void recursiveFolderDelete(String path) throws SftpException {
        channelSftp.cd(path); // Change Directory on SFTP Server
        // List source directory structure.
        Vector<ChannelSftp.LsEntry> fileAndFolderList = channelSftp.ls(sourcePath);
        // Iterate objects in the list to get file/folder names.
        for (ChannelSftp.LsEntry item : fileAndFolderList) {
            // If it is a file (not a directory).
            if (!item.getAttrs().isDir()) {
                channelSftp.rm(path + "/" + item.getFilename()); // Remove file.
            } else if (!(".".equals(item.getFilename()) || "..".equals(item.getFilename()))) { // If it is a subdir.
                try {
                    // removing sub directory.
                    channelSftp.rmdir(path + "/" + item.getFilename());
                } catch (Exception e) { // If subdir is not empty and error occurs.
                    // Do lsFolderRemove on this subdir to enter it and clear its contents.
                    recursiveFolderDelete(path + "/" + item.getFilename());
        channelSftp.rmdir(path); // delete the parent directory after empty