Thursday, 3 April 2014

How to delete an undeletable file.

Solution #1: Kill explorer.exe

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Navigate to the location where the locked file is
  3. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL, click on “task manager”, select the Processes tab
  4. Kill the explorer.exe process via the “End Process” button
  5. Go back to the command prompt and delete the file (del filename.ext)
  6. Bring up the task manager windows again
  7. Select file -> new task
  8. Type explorer.exe in the “create new task” field
  9. Press OK.

Solution #2: Use The Windows Recovery Console

Just stick your Windows CD in your CD tray, boot the computer with it, and at the “Welcome to Setup” screen, press “R“. Once the recovery console has started, navigate to the location of your locked file, and delete it. Since WRC does not really start the system, the files will not be in use, and you will be able to delete them. Oh, and for all you Linux geeks out there, we know doing this via a linux live CD / USB key is also possible.

Solution #3: Use Unlocker (Download)

Unlocker is a very useful freeware that will allow you to unlock any files that are currently in use by Windows. You’ll know if this is happening if you are getting any of these messages when trying to delete a file:
  • Cannot delete file: Access is denied
  • There has been a sharing violation
  • The source or destination file may be in use
  • The file is in use by another program or user
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use
  • Unlocker will make things right again for you.
You’ll notice that right after installing the software, a new option named “unlocker” will appear when right clicking any files or folders in Windows Explorer. To unlock a locked file, just right click it, select unlocker, and the unlocker software will start.

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