After much research I need to ask how I may go about getting a path list of open files with a particular extension in Windows 7. Files, not processes; I need the files that Adobe Reader, or other, has open.

Occasionally I am forced to restart my PC. I always have multiple PDFs and/or Notepad files open. After restart it is difficult to reopen these files so as to quickly get back up and working again. I would like to know how to get a list paths to open files by extension so that I may then write a Batch or Python script that will save these file names and paths, and then later run another script to reopen these files.

I found the tool OpenedFilesView by NirSoft which shows all open files, and associated extensions. Therefore it seems possible to get from Windows a list of paths to open files by extension, but I need to know what commands to use to do this within the command-prompt window/shell in Windows.

1 Answer 1


You can use SysInternals Process Explorer (from Microsoft, free download). It is kind of a TaskManager on Steroids, and has a function 'Find/Find handle or DLL', search for *.pdf, and it will list all programs with all files that are open that match that string: enter image description here

  • He wants to find the names from the command line
    – DavidPostill
    Dec 19, 2015 at 11:50

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