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4 Ways to Delete Locked Files

A locked file is a protected file which computer denies you access to it and allows another user or process to access it at any specific time. Locked files are used to restrict access of other users when the file is in use. Moreover, some applications use lock files to prevent users from writing, deleting reading or tampering with the existing content. When you are saving a shared file and another user is using it then you may receive a message informing you that the file locked.

How to check whether a file is locked or not

Some files are locked only for certain access. To know if the file locked to prevent you from writing on it, try to gain access by writing some on the file. A Locked file uses an On Error Resume Next statement to protect itself. If your attempted file access you are using say writing is desired, then the locked file function will return False. On the other hand, if you file access method is not allowed then the function returns True. Whenever you encounter a lock file try various alternatives to see if you can gain access.

How to delete a locked file

Method 1 Delete the file by ending the explorer.exe process

Setp 1. End the explorer.exe process

This process mostly prevents users from deleting files in use. To end the process, open the Task manager by pressing Control, Alt and Delete keys simultaneously. Then click on the tab Processes from the menu and choose One reading explorer.exe then hit on the End process button.

4 methods to delete locked files

Setp 2. Go to file location in command prompt

To open command prompt, click Start then Run. In the open window, type cmd and click on Run button. While at the command window, use cd to move to the file location. Type the correct direction in which the locked file is located.

4 ways to delete locked files

Setp 3. Delete the locked files

In the command window, Type del filename. Replace the file name with the name of the locked file. The command should be in small letters.

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Setp 4. Restart the process

Open the Task manager and click on file then New task. Type explore.exe from your keyboard into the command window and select OK. Another way to restart the explorer process is by rebooting your computer.

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Method 2 Delete locked files using Windows Recovery Console

Setp 1. Turn on your computer from installation disc

Shut down your computer and place the Windows reinstallation disc to the disc drive. Reboot your computer and wait for windows to restart it from the disc rather than the hard drive.

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Setp 2. Enter Recovery Console mode

Immediately Welcome to Setup appears on screen, tap on the R key to enter into Recovery Console mode. This application is for troubleshooting and is connected to Windows.

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Setp 3. Delete the locked file

Once the application loads, move to the location of locked file using the command prompt. Type del filename and replace file name with the name of the locked file. After the locked files have been deleted, type exit on the command window to exit the process and reboot your computer.

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Method 3 Delete locked files using Unlocker

Setp 1. Download Unlocker application

Download Unlocker program to your computer. Double click on the setup of the program to install and follow the instructions given.

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Setp 2. Open the Unlocker program

To open the program, go to the file location in Windows Explorer and right click on the file. A new context menu appears immediately choose new Unlocker from the given options. The Unlocker program will therefore open displaying the contents of the locked file.

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Setp 3. Delete the locked file

While on the Unlocker application, select Unlock all option. This command will delete all the locked files from your computer. Finally, close the Unlocker and delete the files manually.

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Method 4 Deleting locked files using File Assassin

Setp 1.Download the utility

Download File Assassin utility and install it to your computer. Once installed, open the application by simply double clicking or right clicking then selecting Open.

File Assassin to delete locked files

Setp 2. Select the following

Ensure that you enable the following check boxes

  1. Unlock locked files handles
  2. Unlock modules
  3. Terminate the file’s process
  4. Delete file

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Setp 3. Execute

Hit on Execute button after you have selected the check boxes.

Execute to delete locked files

If the files does not delete select Use delete on windows delete function then click Execute.

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Things we need to take care of before deleting locked files

When using command prompt, keenly state the exact location of the file, any mistakes can lead to deletion of valuable files. Also when using File assassin method, care must also be taken to avoid data loss and even system failure.

When you delete important files carelessly during the operation, there is no need for panic. Download effective data recovery software and see whether you can retrieve you files.

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