Windows won’t allow you to modify files that open programs have locked. if you try to delete a file and see a message that it’s open in another program, you’ll have to unlock the file (or close the program).
In some cases, it may not be clear which program has locked a file. Sometimes, a program or background process may have finished with a file, but not unlocked it properly when it was done. In that case, you must unlock the stubborn file or folder in order to modify the file.
Note: Unlocking certain files and deleting them can cause problems with open programs. Don’t unlock and delete files that should remain locked, including Windows system files.
You can unlock a file by using the excellent Process Explorer task manager. We’ve covered Process Explorer in detail before, so here we’ll just dive right into how to unlock a file. You won’t need to install it first—it’s a portable app—but you will need to run it with administrative privileges. You actually can do this from within Process Explorer by clicking the “File” menu and selecting “Show Details for All Processes.”
Next, click the “Find” menu and select “Find Handle or DLL.” (Or press Ctrl+F.)
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