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Delete Undeletable Files In Windows

Often, while deleting files you might have come across, "Error in deleting files." This error is basically saying that "The file or folder you are deleting is being used." Usually, you don’t know why this error is showing even though, you are not using the file. This is probably a system bug, or you may be the file is in use, but you don’t know who is using the file or its being used by shared computers. Generally, you will get such error only when deleting a file which is being used or file which is protected.

Delete Undeletable Files

I’ll show you several ways of removing these types of files and even some Software Application. Furthermore, I’ll tell you the best way of removing such files in Windows.


Follow the below steps to Remove Undeletable files in Windows

Solution #1:

In case the error occurred due to the file being used by some programs or applications. Simply try restarting the system. Once the system is restarted, try deleting the files or folder which you were trying to delete earlier. If it doesn’t help try another method or solution mentioned below.


Solution #2:

Delete the File Using Command Prompt

Step 1: Navigate to the location where the file is located e.g.: C:\new folder\undeletable file.exe. Note down the directory.

Step 2: Open command prompt. Go to Start –> Run, Now type "cmd" and Press Enter.

Step 3: Open Task Manager. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL. In Task Manager, Click on Processes tab find explorer.exe in the process list and Kill the explorer.exe process via the “End Process” button.Delete Undeletable Files in windows command prompt

Step 4: Now, we will use command prompt to delete the file. Switch to Command Prompt window. In Command Prompt, Use CD command to locate the file directory in command prompt. Once you are in the directory using command prompt.

Enter Del <file name>

i.e. Del "Undeletable file.exe" and Press Enter.

Here, we are using DEL command to delete the file.

Step 5: Now, Go to Task manager and bring back the explorer.exe. Go to File –> New Task and Enter Explorer.exe and Press OK.


Solution #3:

Delete File Using Software: Unlocker

Since the file is being used by some application or process, and you don’t know which application or process is using it. In such case, Unlocker is the best option to get this problem solved. Unlocker is tool, which not only delete files but also tell which program or application is using it.

There are many such software available on the internet, which does the same task, but we prefer Unlocker. I recommend you to use unlocker when such problem arises. It tells which program or application is using the file, it unlocks the process for that file and deletes the file. Using Unlocker is the safest way of deleting file since, you know which processes are associated with that file, so you don’t have regret latter. Download Unlocker from FileHippo.

(Update) Many of our readers asked me, "Applications like Adobe, flash, Photoshop, etc. Folders are not getting deleted." These files are protected, and you cannot easily delete such files. However, to delete this file, you try using Solution #2 but the best way to delete such files is Unlocker, i.e. Solution #3, As its fast and simple.

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About Kroshan

Roshan Karkera a.k.a. k.roshan. Blogger by passion and software engineer by profession. He believes in sharing knowledge, which made him to start his own blog. He is very much keen & passionate about new technology & Science. If you'd like to connect with him, follow at Google plus or Twitter.
  • cyn

    Thanks for the tips. i always encounter these type of problem.

  • Raxi

    great post, i usually use using unlocker but the didn't knew the cmd trick . thanku

  • Web Design Manchester

    Unlocker is a great find, I've just had to use it and it worked instantly-highly recommended, good post dude.

    • I was looking everywhere and this popped up like ntohing!

  • Anonymous


    I've a file can't delete by your recommended 3 methods so how to delete that file. It's actually Macromedia file that's been put during Installation, unknowingly I've deleted the folder instead of Un-Installation so How to delete that folder file?

  • Dj roshan

    Are u sure you have tried unlocker?

    however you can do this Select the folder Go to the properties of the folder and in attribute remove check mark from read only and apply to all.And now Delete.

    Or if it fail due to index problem then do this manually.

    Go to the root of the folder (i.e Go inside the folder) and start deleting files and if you find file(not folder) which is undeletable then select the file and Open file properties and Remove the Check Mark on READ ONLY in attributes Now Apply and click Ok. and Now delete the file also Manually delete all files and root folder under macromedia folder.
    When all the inside folder are deleted then delete the main folder.
    And Done…

  • John

    Well for me unlocker worked for me.I had file which was not able to be delete.So i tried unlocker and it worked:D

  • Daniel

    Thanks for sharing, such files always annoy me.

  • Taufiq Hasan

    Hi, that is a great tips. Why you don't use Shift+Del?

  • Dj roshan

    Well using Shift+Del Will Bypass the recycle bin And the file will be deleted permanently instead of going to recycle bin.This will not help to delete for undeletable file.

  • Alex

    worked for me ,great post.

  • Spyros

    These undeleted windows files can really give a person the creeps ! Nice tutorial, it will definately come in handy.

  • Ishan Banga

    i like your blog
    i am too a blogger.i blog at
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    If u want u can contact me at

  • dan rogy

    long path file deleter


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