Do you ever ran into a situation where you wanted to delete a file, but Windows simply wouldn't allow you to do it? Personally, these things happen to me all the time, especially when I'm at a client's house trying to get their machine clean of malware. Have you ever tried deleting a locked file using common windows commands? If so, then you'll notice that this is just not at all possible.
The main reason behind this is that the explorer.exe process locks files that are in use, effectively preventing you from deleting them. Usually, these files should not be touched, but sometimes, situations arise when you really need to erase some troublesome ones. some of the file may contain viruses and malware.
These situation sometimes arises when you have inserted some virus effected pen drive to your system so in order to erase them, you need to learn some basic tricks that I will show you through this tutorial.
The few easy solutions to delete those files are discussed below.
Solution 1: Kill explorer.exe
- Open a command prompt.
- Navigate to the location where the locked file actually is.
- Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, click on "task manager", select the Processes tab.
- Kill the explorer.exe process via the "End Process" button.
- Go back to the command prompt and delete the file
- To delete the file using command prompt, Type "del " without the quotes.
- And then type in the name of the file with the extension, if you are currently in the directory where the file is located, you should be good to go.
- For example, if you wanted to delete "file.txt", you would type "del file.txt". If this file was located on the desktop and you were one directory above, you could type "C://Usersusername/Desktopfile.txt".
- Bring up the task manager windows again
- Select file->new task
- Type explorer.exe in the "create new task" field
- Press OK.
Solution 2: Use The Windows Recovery Console
Just stick your Windows CD in your CD tray, boot on 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, yes, we know, doing this via a linux live CD / USB key is also possible.
Solution 3: Use Unlocker
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 can download unlocker for free, Click here
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. Then, click "unlock all" and close the software. Now that your file is unlocked, just delete it in Windows Explorer, as you always do. This is much simpler than solution 1 or 2, isn't it?
ConclusionI hope these three solutions will help you get rid of those hard to delete files!
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