I'm using Windows Vista with an external (USB) hard drive. Sometimes I need to disconnect the hard drive, but when I try to disconnect USB devices, Windows tells me that an application is using the files on that drive. As far as I know, I have closed anything accessing the hard drive.

Is there a way to determine which files are in use, and by which process?


Apparently (according to the OpenedFilesView website) it makes a difference that I have a 64-bit version of Vista.


Process Explorer does exactly what you need, and many other useful diagnostic features as well. I highly recommend it.

here's a tutorial:

How to: Display a List of Processes That Have Files Open, using Process Explorer

  • i much prefer Anvir Task Manager over Process Explorer, even the free version beats PE hands down.
    – Molly7244
    Dec 22 '09 at 23:32
  • 1
    I'm curious then... why didn't you link Anvir Task manager as an answer to this question? Does it lack the ability to view open file handles? Dec 23 '09 at 18:27

Is there a way to determine which files are in use, and by which process?

NirSoft's OpenedFilesView displays the list of all opened files on your system. For each opened file, additional information is displayed: handle value, read/write/delete access, file position, the process that opened the file, and more...

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OpenedFilesView is freeware and portable.

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