Windows prevents certain files from being deleted
This has surely happened to you at some point: you are going to delete a document or a file and a window appears indicating that it cannot be deleted because it is in use. How is it possible? If you have closed all open programs. Normally, when working with a file or document, you cannot delete it because it is in use.
Therefore, you should close the programs you are using at that time to delete said file. This is usually indicated by them being in use, not accessible, or the file not existing.
This may be, for example, because in certain situations the file is used by essential programs such as Windows Explorer, which prevents it from being deleted. If using Task Manager failed, you can get rid of those annoying files and forcibly delete them by completing the process manually… or by downloading simple, free apps.
What can we do
What to do to beat these rogue files? doHow to make Windows understand that you want to delete a file even though a background process still has it?
The best we can do in this case is force delete from a file where, as we will see, we have the following solutions at your disposal. If the Windows error message tells you the cause of the error, use the corresponding method. If, on the other hand, the reasons are unclear, there are a few tips and tricks that can help.
Close all programs
In most cases, the reason why a file cannot be deleted on Windows (or macOS, that is) is quite simple. The file always open or another program uses it. Follow these steps:
- Check if the file is open in programs, such as Word from Microsoft 365.
- If you know the responsible program, close the open file or close the entire program.
- If you don’t know which program it is, close all tasks. To do this, open the task manager with the following Windows shortcut: [Ctrl] + [Mayús] + [Esc].
- Close all programs by right-clicking and Complete homework in active processes. Be sure not to close Windows Explorer or Task Manager.
- You should now be able to delete the files without any problem.
Delete an already deleted folder
Can’t delete a file or folder and get an “Element not found” error message? This is usually due to a browser error. To fix the problem, restart explorer.exe.
- Open task manager with [Ctrl] + [Mayús] + [Esc].
- Locate Task Windows Explorerright-click and click End Task.
- In Task Manager, click File in the upper left corner, then click perform a new task.
- In the window Create a new tasktype C:Windowsexplorer.exe and press Accept.
Use the command prompt
If using File Explorer does not guarantee us to delete the file we want, another option we have is to use the System symbol try to erase what bothers us. You can also follow these steps:
- We navigate to the file we want to delete using the File browser.
- Now we click on the file to select it, then right-click and select copy as path. This will allow us to have the full location of the copied file.
- At this moment we press the keys Windows+R to open the dialog box To run.
- Once out, we’ll write ordered and click on Accept.
- Let’s write now Ofa space and press the Control + V keys to copy the path of the file that we previously selected.
- Once done, all you have to do is hit enter, and the file will be deleted at that exact moment.
- If it works, we will just see another command prompt. It may happen that another application is using the file, so we will receive a message telling us that the file cannot be deleted.