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Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

error deleting file or folder. It is being used by another..

by Tasuki / December 23, 2007 12:22 PM PST

I get this blasted message all the time:

"Error deleting file or folder
Cannot delete [name of folder]: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again."

Example: I copied a folder with some pictures in it from my C: drive (desktop) to my D: drive. Now, I try to delete the folder from the desktop and I get the above error message. I had viewed a few of the pictures, and deleted one that I didn't want to save, but when I went to try to delete the folder, there were no programs open that were using or viewing the pictures. I did ctrl-alt-del and looked under "applications" to verify that no programs were running. If I restart the computer, I know from experience that I can then delete the folder, but why on earth does Windows XP think that the folder or its contents are being used? Is there some setting I can modify so that I can delete files and folders without rebooting? Curiously, this doesn't happen all the time. Many times I can delete a file or folder, but this happens enough so that I got bugged enough to ask this forum. Thanks in advance. Taz

Discussion is locked
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Make sure your running an Administrative account first
by Dango517 / December 23, 2007 12:43 PM PST
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Unlocker works for me.
by Mailman / December 23, 2007 6:37 PM PST
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(NT) I use this one also
by Dango517 / December 24, 2007 2:25 AM PST
In reply to: Unlocker works for me.
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Worked for me!
by A_N_Onymous / December 27, 2007 1:36 AM PST
In reply to: Unlocker works for me.

Thanks for the tip! A Google search brought me to this page. About a minute later my in-use folder has been deleted!


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Cannot delete Filename. Access is denied.
by Cursorcowboy / December 23, 2007 9:09 PM PST

1. By default [Q265216], folders appear in Windows as folder icons or as pictures that are contained in the folder. (When folders appear as pictures, you are viewing them in "Thumbnails" view.) When Microsoft Windows XP opens a folder for the first time, Windows uses a default template to display the folder contents and to view the settings based on the location of the folder, the number of files in the folder and the proportion of special file types in the folder. If Image Preview gives you a hard time when deleting pictures (such as the below error message), on the Tools menu, click Folder Options and on the General tab, click the "Use Windows classic folders" option (screenshot), click Apply and then click OK. Afterwards, you can readjust the setting as you want.

Cannot delete Filename. Access is denied. The source file may be in use.

2. The Windows Recovery Console can be used to obtain limited access to NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 volumes without starting Windows, [Q314058]. Please also read, "HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP (Q307654)."

3. Otherwise, please read Doug Knox's tip, "How do I delete an "undeletable" file?"

4. The article [Q320081] explains that you may not be able to delete a file if the file is being used and the symptoms may vary. You may be able to use the delete command to delete a file but the file is not actually deleted until the process that has the file open releases the file. Additionally, you may not be able to access the Security dialog box for a file that is pending deletion. To determine what process may have a file open, "Q242131 - Display a List of Processes That Have Files Open."

5. Supplemental reading:

a. "HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP (Q308421)."

b. "HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions (Q308418)."

c. "HOW TO: Disable Simplified Sharing and Password-Protect a Shared Folder in Windows XP (Q307874)."

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being used by another person or program
by Dango517 / December 24, 2007 2:36 AM PST
This is a running program it must be stopped before you can alter it. You can kill the process in task manager or uninstall it then reinstall but you need to make your changes before it begins to run.

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