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Welcome to Microsoft Windows Vista Tips & Tricks

Delete File In Use


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No doubt at some point you have tried to delete a file (or folder) and have received the following error:
This means that an application is currently using this file and you cannot delete it, this shouldn't normally happen but may occur if a network is using a shared file or a program hasn't closed a file properly. Usually, a restart will allow you to delete the file/folder safely - but if you don't want to restart or the problem persists then you need to download a 3rd party tool. There is a great freeware tool called Unlocker that lets you delete any file/folder in use by right clicking on it and selecting the unlocker option. This stops applications from accessing the file and deletes the "in use" file:
fileinuse1.jpg
This next window shows you all of the applications currently using the requested file, ready for you to select an action from the lower-left dropdown box (such as Delete) then click on Unlock All:
fileinuse2.jpg
Be sure that you do not do this to any system critical files, as it is possible to stop Vista from loading if you use this application improperly.​

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