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Windows 7: File In Use when deleting file

Sometimes I can't delete a file because it's being used by some unknown applications. How can I find out what apps?

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marked as duplicate by techie007, studiohack Dec 19 '11 at 18:07

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3 Answers

Unlocker is a great tool for this.

  • It lists all applications that are locking a file (or directory).
  • It closes the handle without terminating the application that is locking the file.

Make sure you download the 64-bit version if yiu have a 64-bit OS.

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I'm a big fan of Unlocker, used it quite a few times. –  Melikoth Dec 19 '11 at 17:58
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I use SysInternals' Process Explorer. Search for the locked file. Not only will PE tell you which application locked it, but also what thread in that application opened it. In certain cases (only recommended if you know what you're doing!) you can get away by killing one thread, rather than an entire application.

At any rate, it will tell you who locked the file.

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Please check out: meta.superuser.com/questions/787/… –  techie007 Dec 19 '11 at 18:14
    
Easier to answer than to hunt down similar questions, I guess –  Traveling Tech Guy Dec 19 '11 at 18:46
    
Easy isn't always good. :) Searching delete in use file IS pretty easy though. ;) –  techie007 Dec 19 '11 at 18:49
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Yes. Moo0 makes a free utility called FileMonitor that should do exactly this.

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