Delete stubborn files

Usrn asked the Desktops forum how to get rid of files that refuse to be deleted

Usrn asked the Desktops forum how to get rid of files that refuse to be deleted.

When you select a file, press the Delete key, and get an error message, chances are some program has that file open. But what program? Windows doesn't tell you.

The best tool for working around this problem is Unlocker, yet another free utility. Once you have it installed, you can simply right-click the stubborn file and select Unlocker. Then you select the file from the program's list, select Delete from the pull-down menu in the lower-left corner, and click Unlock.

You have your choice between three versions of this program, all of them free. There are 32- or 64-bit versions of the regular program--obviously, you need the one that matches your edition of Windows. Or you can pick the portable version that doesn't need to be installed (here, one .zip file contains both the 32- and the 64-bit code). The problem with the portable version, of course, is that if you right-click a file in Windows Explorer, you won't get an Unlocker option. You'll have to load the program, then navigate it to the unwanted file.

Read the original forum discussion.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftoperating systemssoftwareWindows

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?