Microsoft

Tech Tip: Delete an "undeletable" file in Windows XP

Follow these steps to delete an "undeletable" file.

Have you ever tried to delete a file in Windows Explorer and received the error message that it could not delete the file because it was in use? This can happen even when you know for a fact that the file is not in use.

You may open a command prompt and try to delete the file with the Delete command. But this method also fails.

Here's how you can delete an "undeletable" file. Follow these steps:

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Open a command prompt.
  3. Right-click the taskbar, and select Task Manager.
  4. On the Processes tab, select Explorer.exe, and click the End Process button.
  5. Minimize Task Manager, but don't close it.
  6. At the command prompt, use the Delete command to remove the file, and close the command prompt.
  7. In Task Manager, go to File | New Task (Run).
  8. In the Create New Task dialog box, enter Explorer.exe, and click OK.
  9. Close Task Manager.

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