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

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?