Not able to delete a file in Windows XP? delete it with un-locker

by Rohit Khurana on January 3, 2008



It happens many time when we try to delete a file on the hard disk, and file does not get deleted. It gives the error message saying “Cannot delete, file is being used by some other program” when we are actually not using the same file.

This problem occurs because windows does not release the handle to the file. Let us see the way to delete such files.


In order to delete a file, which you are not able to delete normally by delete or shift+delete or right click>>delete you can try following ways out:

Method 1: (With unlocker)

The process of deleting a file could become more easy if you use a freeware called Unlocker.

What is unlocker ?

Unlocker is an explorer extension that allows you with a simple right-click of the mouse on a file or folder to get rid of error message such as error deleting file or folder.


Download Unlocker and install it on your computer.

After installation follow the steps below for deleting files which you are not able to delete otherwise :

1. Right click on the file and select unlocker.

2. If the folder or file is locked by any program of windows , a window listing of lockers will appear.

3. Press unlock all to release the windows program handle to the file.

4. delete the file or folder ,now it will be deleted.

Method 2: In this method there is no need to install any software. This method uses basic DOS commands, if you are not comfortable with working on DOS, see Method1.

1. Open Start>>Run and type “cmd” (without double quotes) and press enter.

2. Press alt+ctrl+del to open task manager, now click on process tab and locate Explorer.exe and end this process.

3. type del <complete file path-name>.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

deleted file January 24, 2008 at 9:23 pm

thanks for this post.. from last few days I was trying to delete a file but could not.. I tried your second method and bingo..

deleted file January 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm

why don u use google adsense to earn from ur blog?

lutanda February 12, 2008 at 1:33 am

you got answers to many questions i hope they work

Vaibhav August 11, 2008 at 5:14 am

hello…. i tried ur both the methods suggested. neither of it worked. As my file name conatains a space in between, command prompt’s not detecting whole name as a single file name. Also unlocker’s not unlocking my file and it still remains there when i click it again. Why it is so? Any solution? The problem is yet to be rectified!

Unmesh December 16, 2008 at 11:00 am

Thanks Rohit. It was very helpful !! :-)

Parth November 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

used second method and got the result..
the file was very annoying

k seshu babu December 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

sorry , i have tried both the methods but the same result ,,,,,

acess denied in both cases ..

anitha November 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Thank for this software developer.. It work well..

vaibhav March 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

the 2nd method worked it out man thanks god bless youuuuuuuuuuu

Sreejith June 22, 2012 at 8:40 am

Unlocker is just amazing. Had a few stubborn files that I had to get rid of.Thanks for the info

Aniruddha July 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Method 2 is very smart and simple. Would be great if you could explain how it worked

Akash Radhakrishnan September 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Super. Unlocker is working fie. The file that are not deletable is getting deleted.

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