How To Fix ‘Cannot Delete Folder/File’, ‘Access Is Denied’ or ‘File In Use’ errors in Windows Using Unlocker

Did u ever try to delete a file or a folder and got ‘Access Is Denied’ error? Or while copying a file it gives ‘The Source File May Be In Use’ error. These types of errors can occur due to many different reasons,  maybe the file is being used by the operating system or some other program, or maybe you do not have administrator privileges.

deletepic

If you get an “Access is Denied” error while accessing a folder then it means the administrator has not allowed you permission to access it. If you are not an Administrator then you will probably never be able to fix this error. But if you are an Administrator and receiving this problem then there is a software called Unlocker that is going to come in handy.

UPDATE: Lock Hunter seems to be working better in Windows 7(both 32-bit and 64-bit)

Unlocker is a small, free, and powerful software that lets you see which process is holding the lock on the file/folder and then helps you unlock it. After Installing this software you can simply right click the file/folder that is giving “Access is Denied” or “FIle May Be In Use” errors and then click on Unlocker.

deletepic1


A new window will now pop-up showing the processes as shown below. Now you can either unlock all of the processes or kill the process.

deletepic2

On the left of the ‘Kill Process’ button there is a dropdown menu where you can select Copy, Move, Rename, or Delete functions for a locked file.

This program is useful for the following types of errors,

  • 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.

Using Microsoft Support

There is also an alternative way using Microsoft support help for such errors, following MS steps will basically reset the file/folder settings.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810881

I frequently use the Unlocker software for quick solution, and I have personally never tried using the Microsoft support method. I hope you will also get rid if these errors using the above procedure, looking forward to hear feedbacks from you. :)

Advertisement
  • http://www.pliggs.com Geoserv

    STUMBLED!

    First time I have heard of this tool.

    Thanks.

    • Daniel Fird

      I have uses Long Path Tool software. It is really helpful. You can try. 

  • Bill Vincent

    I’ve been using Unlocker for a couple years now, and I recommend it for anyone with the brains to use it. If you’re one of those folks that say “Oh, I don’t know much about computers” then you could cause some damage (or at least more troubles) with this, shutting down explorer.exe, for example. :)

    • RC

      Will this tool remove a folder( not being used) that gives persistent “Acess Denied” error?

      Thanks,

      RC

  • http://www.addicitivetips.com Nakodari

    @ Bill Vincent

    I totally agree with you. Thanks for adding this precaution so others can know. :)

    @Geoserv

    Thanks for stumbling, I appreciate your support. :)

  • Cide

    sad.. sad.. If you’ve waited this long to find out how to unlock your processes (and haven’t Googled it before) you don’t deserve to use the program..

    • Tpcassidy

       I actually said Fuck you aloud when I read your post.  I just got win 7 and this is the first time I am having this problem!

  • Rambo

    Unlocker is in fact, the only tool I’ve found that can successfully perform this task (every time).
    But as BV says, it can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

    Windows itself uses a lot of files, and interrupting a Windows process by deleting one can cause major problems.
    Unlocker should only be used when you have a file like a document, or a music file, etc… that you would “typically” be able to delete.

    For newbies – say you are watching a video file, don’t like it & try to delete it. The video player may have that file locked for its use, preventing its deletion. You can clear this most times by playing another file, therefore releasing the first one so you can delete it. Maybe, though, you have to close the player program, to release the file before deleting it.
    If you click on a video file, to open the video player you use, then that first file may be locked until you close the program, no matter how many other videos you play.
    If it still won’t delete, then some other background process may have it locked (say, a screen-capture utility you clicked to get an image of the video) – this is where Unlocker comes in handy.
    There really are ENDLESS possible reasons for the locked file.
    So be cautious – it’s locked for a reason…

    In the example given by the author, the screen image shows EXPLORER.EXE as the process, with a LOCKED file or folder in My Documents… it’s safe to assume he’s trying to delete a document or folder there – maybe Word still has the document open while trying to delete it… doesn’t work. But if you Unlock it, you can delete it, and Word will get confused. So again, be cautious.

  • http://www.thenetguruz.com thenetguruz

    Used this app, it works good but sometimes if file is not getting deleted, it should be left as it is and you could delete it after next restart of your computer.

  • http://www.addicitivetips.com Nakodari

    @Rambo

    Thanks for giving a caution to the users, I should have posted this warning in my post.

  • Nomadss1

    Unlocker doesn’t delete file names longer than 255 characters on windows XP.This I know for fact the only way I have found to remove veryfrakkenlongFilenames is to copy everything I want to keep from file then delete the whole file.I know sometimes that sucks but I wish I had a better way.

  • http://techboard.wordpress.com ..alee

    Have been using unlocker for ages and no doubt, it’s one of my MUST have app for windows .. TFS!

  • http://www.library-book.co.cc ttt

    Thank man!

    http://www.library-book.co.cc << Free Download IT Programmer Java Linux ASP Flash PHP and much more Books

  • webtips

    thanks… good one..

  • harvey lerman

    Sounds good! So where can I get “Unlocker” for XP?

  • shasha

    just used it ..i was so pissed untill i found this thanx :)

  • http://www.indrainnovated.tk Indra

    Thank you about your tutorial, that tips was can fix network slow transfer.

    Thank you,

    Best regards,
    Indra
    indra@yahoo.com

  • Fadra

    Thank you very much! I’ve wondered for years how to delete those stuff which cant be deleted. :D

  • Dave

    Have any of you tried restarting? Usually if you try to delete the file as soon as you can after a reboot it works just fine. I’ve never had any trouble after a reboot before.

  • Harry

    Unlocker isn’t portable, and it was flakey when I used it. Get killbox. If it can’t force-delete the file, it’ll delete it on reboot. Killbox also doesn’t need to be installed, as it’s just a standalone app.

  • Matt

    I tried many options suggested to remove this mongrel file without any success. Not a confident user as yet, was unsure about using the suggested software. So I restarted my machine, f8 into safe mode, located file and sent to recycle bin, emptied bin and could not believe it, its gone! Restart again and the error file has really gone. Hope this helps others. Maybe you techo’s can check this and see why it works. I felt I just fluked it. Anyway thanks everyone for communicating ideas to help each other. Cheers

  • Pingback: Remove Blocked Files And It’s Locking Processes From Windows

  • John

    I have a whole folder filled whit files that can not be deleted. i have tried many different programs to delete them. unlocker & FileAssasin too. they didnt work. i have even tried some extreme erasing programs they did not work. so unlocker is god but sometimes it do not work.

  • sheetalkumar

    Please give answer to this querry

  • RoTKiV

    If you have long file names and can’t move or delete them, try to rename them to a shorter name as well as the $%# long folder name they are found in. Once you shorten the name past the Windows name character limit you can do what you want with the file. (I think the limit is 256 characters)

    Unlocker rocks!! love it.

  • http://personalwebguide.com/ Travis

    Definitely a program that deserves mention. While I’ve always gotten around this program the “long way” (finding out what program is using it and then shutting down that program manually) this can certainly save time for a lot of inexperienced PC users.

  • TH3 UK RIDDL3R

    Why haven't i seen this program before. Folder issue resolved 1 min after reading this :-) Cheers

  • http://rsfile.net Rapidshare Search

    This little application will resolve my long lasting problem.Thanks v much

  • http://rsfile.net Rapidshare Search

    This little application will resolve my long lasting problem.Thanks v much

  • Tommaaaay

    googled how to delete files that can't be deleted, and DL'd this lil tool. Bam problem fixed in 2 minutes tops.

    Lol at my quick email name :D

  • Tommaaaay

    googled how to delete files that can't be deleted, and DL'd this lil tool. Bam problem fixed in 2 minutes tops.

    Lol at my quick email name :D

  • Larry Erbe

    Fantastic little program, I would have bought it if it had cost money.

  • Monicas80

    i have also used this tool which works perfectly
    http://www.unlocklertool.com

  • snipermarines

    thank you very much! i have been searching answers and followed every procedure that i found in the net but this is the only thing that worked for me, thanks again and GOD BLESS!

  • http://lo.com lol

    these comments are fake lol

  • Machiventa

    Thanks for this article and introducing me to the unlocker tool…. worked like a charm on an annoying problem folder that would not delete.

  • echo

    i fin’ly got a solution for this… try using unlocking software. it automatically detect locking code and if it found nothing it gives you option just chose delete and it will disappear… thanks peps…

  • Jayzen Freeze

    Did not work for me on most files folders

  • Tiago Carreira

    I have a external hard drive – 1tb Lacie – and I can’t access my movies folder. It says access is denied even though I can access it with my LG TV. I’ve tried unlocker but it says that there is no lock on that file, therefore the problem cannot be solved. Have you got any suggestions as to what I can do?

  • tanisha123

    Hi. I runned into that damn problem too. And after days of searching I finally found this software: Delete Long Path File

    Tool.

    It’s GREAT. You can find it here: http://www.deletelongfile.com

  • cool

    yay, its work for me after i tried many other methods before..thank you a lot

  • Christoffer

    Well, I just used the Windows Support path after having tried both Unlocker and LockHunter without success. Lo and behold, Microsoft actually solved the problem for me this time. Is the end of the world coming?

  • ARSLAN

    thanks brother its very usefull tool thankss alot for sharing you solved my problem

  • s.b

    Great software!! Thanks for the info.

  • Mahendra Sharma

    I tried to delete a file named USBCα=}é.showing capacity 1,261,568 KB in folder but 0 KB in properties through unlocker. A small window pop upped with drop down menu with 4 options. Delete was selected, object deleted shown but actually was not deleted.

    • Alan

      I have faced a similar problem.
      any luck with solving your issue?

  • vineeth

    unlocker worked..thanx a lot..

  • Dev

    hey thanx for the information.
    i have tried so many times to delete a file but after using the unlocker it deleted in a second….:)

  • Digital marketing Lo

    I’ve needed this so many times. Wish I found it before

  • Waleed Zia

    fantastic thanks

  • Bud

    Well, I’m running Win7 64-bit and trying to delete a folder. I log in as Administrator and when I try to delete I get the dreaded Access Denied. Cannot Delete. When I use LockHunter it does not resolve the issue. It does, however, tell me the folder is not locked. I click “Delete It!” and it informs me I can’t delete the folder.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated…

  • Spiderman

    Thanks…..First time I was hearing this tool………It works well….. :D Small software effective…

  • don

    Another reason is if you have the preview pane open. I had the same problem, but it went away when I disabled the preview pane in Windows 7 explorer.

    Orangize>Layout>Preview

  • pet

    when deleted file using the unlocker, the file will totally delete right? it will be not available in the recycle bin or others file right?

  • pet

    when deleted file using the unlocker, the file will totally delete right? it will be not available in the recycle bin or others file right?

  • Shreedhartiadi

    THANKS 
    This Post helped me

  • http://nirmaljoshi.com.np/ Joshi_amn

    it was useful

  • dejan

    It was helpful… I googled it just now, after trying many methods to delete an empty folder who used to have some music files in i t- unsuccessfully ofcourse… So, thanks…

  • dejan

    It was helpful… I googled it just now, after trying many methods to delete an empty folder which used to have some music files in it – unsuccessfully ofcourse… So, thanks…

  • Anonymous

    you can also try and deleting this kind of “can’t be deleted” files and folders with LongPathTool. I use it in this kind of situations :)

  • Santhosh

    Thank you so much… I’ve installed unlocker and it worked for me when a file was giving ‘Access Denied’ while deleting a file.

  • JoshuaReen

    I like this tool, and I have already a useful software like this one, which is know as “Long Path Tool”.

  • JoshuaReen

    I
    love this tool and am using it now for this type or errors. I have
    tried a number of ways for it, and also I have used “Long Path Tool”
    software in this situation and it helped me easily and quickly.

  • JoshuaReen

    I
    love this tool and am using it now for this type or errors. I have
    tried a number of ways for it, and also I have used “Long Path Tool”
    software in this situation and it helped me easily and quickly.

  • adamgart

    i have same problem.Long path tool worked perfect for me.Visit the following site for details Pleasehttp://LongPathTool.com

  • ITEXPERTS usa

    i have same problem.Long path tool worked perfect for me.Visit the following site for details Pleasehttp://LongPathTool.com

  • Daniel Fird

    Hi all,  I have been suffering from accessing, managing and even renaming files that have more than 255 characters over a long time. I have tried various ways but failed. Then I have searched this problem in internet. Then I have found a solution. This software is very easy to use. Named Long path Tool. To use the program all you need to do is to download this program online and save all the settings to your computer. This program is compatible with Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. you can find it from longpathtool(dot)com

  • Abbi

    Don wana say something more but thanks 

  • Hanif Syiemlieh

    thanks a lot pal.

    • Emerson

      Sir now you this trick.

  • Hanif Syiemlieh

    thanks a lot pal.

  • Chethan

    hi  … Thank u so much …. it works really well…

  • Chethan

    hi  … Thank u so much …. it works really well…

  • Padmakumarbs

    thanks
     

  • Thomas

    Great recommendation! Thumbs up bro!

  • Henry

    Works really well …. thanks!!

  • ravi

    excellent! it worked well.

  • Prabhu Navalgund

    awesome, small yet powerful program, thanks bro

  • jeev

    supeb,,,,,,,,

  • jeev

    Thumbs up bro!

  • Kamal

    Thank you.. its working like charm…

  • vishal

    Well, none of these solution worked for me… instead all i had to do was to:
    1) rename another folder which had some contents to the same name as the inaccessible/non-deletable folder.

    Note of caution: Make sure you have backed up a copy of the folder before you rename it.

    2) It then asked me if i wanted to merge the 2 folders –> clicked on Yes.
    3) I was then able to access/open the folder–> Deleted all the contents of the folder.
    4) Now i tried deleting the folder.(And this time it surprisingly let me delete it )

    Anyways, thanks a lot guys. Wouldn’t have posted this, if i wouldnt have come across such a forum that helps a lot when in a desperate situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.kor.10 Steven Kor

    Try this “LongPathTool” tried and tested.Guaranteed fix. Here you can rename, delete, open and move your files instantly without the worries of error messages saying that there is some sort of a problem.

  • Steven Kor

    Try ” Long Path Tool ” is also useful in situations where you see these error messages: Cannot read from source file or disk, there has been a sharing violation, cannot delete file or folder, the file name you specified is not valid or too long, the source or destination file may be in use and many other file managing errors that you encounter in your computing use.

  • Rade Pendrek

    And what if I simply get an Error: “The object could not be deleted. Do you want to perform the requested delete operation at the next reboot?” What should I do in this case?

  • Tina Dony

    I agree, “Access denied error use “Long Path Tool” to get fast and easy fix .

  • adam dee

    Nice post. I’ve also tried “Long Path Tool” as an alternative, and it works like a snap.

  • vampiresss

    thanxx … this software is awesome

  • Rahul Borele

    start– > Run –.%Temp%

    files not deleted always get message Access is denied.

    help to delete this…….

  • Adham Dahab

    I Use Permissions Time Machine v1.1 to restore default permissions and remove “Access is denied” message for folder or files or registry keys or windows services or wmi objects it’s free and fast and easy

    download it from amyd projects blog

  • Adham Dahab

    I Use Permissions Time Machine v1.1 to restore default permissions and remove “Access is denied” message for folder or files or registry keys or windows services or wmi objects it’s free and fast and easy

    I download it from AMYD Projects

  • Mohammed

    Thank You Very Helpful

  • Ritchie

    Thank you very much! I have been struggling for months to delete some directories that were held back by the windows media player network sharing exe. :) Now my HDD is clean, thanks! :)