Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot delete files and folders because they're open

  1. #1


    Posts : 17
    Windows 8.1

    Cannot delete files and folders because they're open


    Hey man

    I'm trying to delete some program files and even though no programs are open I'm getting this message -The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program - I have Windows 8.1



    Thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Have you tried rebooting and deleting immediately after your desktop appears and all programs and apps are loaded(I had to do that when deleting OneKey Recovery files to make a new system image)? Some programs monitor in the back ground or have a service that keeps certain files open.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Yellow Belly
    Posts : 178
    Windows 8.1 with Bing x64


    Try right-clicking task bar and select Task Manager. Have a look in the Sevices tab for the program and stop it by selecting it then right click to find the Stop entry; click on that. You might also find it in the Processes tab where you click on the program entry and then click End Task.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 17
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks stringjunky but they don't appear there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Yellow Belly
    Posts : 178
    Windows 8.1 with Bing x64


    Have a look in Details tab.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 17
    Windows 8.1


    In task manager? There isn't one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Yellow Belly
    Posts : 178
    Windows 8.1 with Bing x64


    Between Users and Services


    Try Unlocker: Unlocker Download - Softpedia

    Edit; Just changed the previous link as it was a dodgy source.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    the file or program is most likely being held by a metro app, the apps do not really close when you close them..

    found this out after trying to delete a pdf file that I read with the reader, file would not delete and same message..

    so in task manager it will be the app that is open and not the file
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Just a thought, this has happened to me. If you have the "item check boxes" checked in your "view" section of folders, and the folder in question is checked, which will happen unless you uncheck it, this will prevent you deleting or moving the file.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 148
    Windows 8.1 Update 1


    Get the program "Lock hunter". It is free and it tells you what program is locking the file in question. What's more it can also close the corresponding program so you can delete the file.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Cannot delete files and folders because they're open
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