base (version 3.6.1)

remove: Remove Objects from a Specified Environment


remove and rm can be used to remove objects. These can be specified successively as character strings, or in the character vector list, or through a combination of both. All objects thus specified will be removed.

If envir is NULL then the currently active environment is searched first.

If inherits is TRUE then parents of the supplied directory are searched until a variable with the given name is encountered. A warning is printed for each variable that is not found.


remove(…, list = character(), pos = -1,
       envir = as.environment(pos), inherits = FALSE)

rm (…, list = character(), pos = -1, envir = as.environment(pos), inherits = FALSE)


the objects to be removed, as names (unquoted) or character strings (quoted).


a character vector naming objects to be removed.


where to do the removal. By default, uses the current environment. See ‘details’ for other possibilities.


the environment to use. See ‘details’.


should the enclosing frames of the environment be inspected?


The pos argument can specify the environment from which to remove the objects in any of several ways: as an integer (the position in the search list); as the character string name of an element in the search list; or as an environment (including using sys.frame to access the currently active function calls). The envir argument is an alternative way to specify an environment, but is primarily there for back compatibility.

It is not allowed to remove variables from the base environment and base namespace, nor from any environment which is locked (see lockEnvironment).

Earlier versions of R incorrectly claimed that supplying a character vector in removed the objects named in the character vector, but it removed the character vector. Use the list argument to specify objects via a character vector.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

ls, objects


Run this code
tmp <- 1:4
## work with tmp  and cleanup

# }
## remove (almost) everything in the working environment.
## You will get no warning, so don't do this unless you are really sure.
rm(list = ls())
# }

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