Questions

Why some empty folders can't be deleted ?

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0 Votes
Locked

Why some empty folders can't be deleted ?

newmarketcomics
I saw some empty folders in my C:\Program Files.
Programs previously located in these folders have been uninstalled, but when I tried to remove these folders, error message occured :
Cannot remove folder xxx: It is being used by another person or program.
Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.

How to clean this thing up ? Thanks.
  • +
    1 Votes
    seanferd

    Depending on the applications, they may have had drivers or something that loads and starts with the core of the OS, and the folders are referenced by these. Or active parts of the app were never removed from RAM. Rebooting should help.


    It may be that the apps didn't uninstall properly (bad design, or the OS is "confused"). It might help to run a gentle registry cleaner (like the registry cleaning function of CCleaner) to remove straggling registry references to these folders.

    Some applications, for example, some versions of Norton internet security apps, require going to the vendors site to get a purpose-built "cleanup uninstaller" to truly remove the app.

    If none of this is helping you, please let us know what operating system you are using, what uninstalled applications are involved, and which folders refuse to go away.

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    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Hidden Files which will not appear but still be present in these folders.

    As stated above there are many reasons why this is happening but without knowning more and a lot more like which OS, what Folders and what was the name of the deleted applications it's impossible to be more specific.

    But regardless if you can not delete these folders it's because Windows thinks that they not only are being used but are actually In Use.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    jangirke

    Here is a tool that helps:
    http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/
    Rant:
    Because Windows is programed by some lazy folks.
    Who implement features now that had to be included since NT.
    Or more likely:
    Nah if we put in any more usefulness we have to sell it as windows 10.

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    0 Votes
    newmarketcomics

    I tried Ccleaner, and the folders remain untouched, and there is no such thing as hidden files here as I set my folder option to view all including the hidden files. The OS is WinXP SP2, and those folders are c:\program files\microsoft frontpage\version3.0\bin, c:\program files\msn gaming zone\window, c:\program files\xerox\nwwia.
    Am able to delete these folders in Safe Mode, but once back to Normal Mode, these folders come up again.

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    0 Votes
    databaseben

    actually, there are "super" hidden files that supercede the simple "hidden files" feature. however, it is doubtful that "super" hide is enable for those undeletable folders, unless 1) the folders belong to a specialty program used for concealing files or 2) the folders are malware related.

    what you might try is booting in safe mode and try removing that folder. incidentally, it might also be linked to a start-up or service, which you may not be using anymore. so you may need to do a clean boot, because that folder is no longer present.

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    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    In that case, the key is that they come back when you boot normally. So, delete the files/folders in Safe Mode, run CCleaner to clean up the registry, and then reboot to see if they come back again. Since their registry references should be gone, Windows should not attempt to resurrect them.

    You could also manually scan the registry to find references to these folders and remove them yourself.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    If I'm not mistaken, all of those folders are owned by the operating system, and you cannot delete them at all. If you were to delete them while the OS was offline, they would just be re-created.

    +
    1 Votes
    wompai

    CCleaner is a great option indeed. I noticed that the folders you've been trying to delete are mostly from Windows components which might contain valuable OS files, if CCleaner can't touch 'm you might start thinking about leaving them as they are and not concern about anything, have you noticed any problems which originate from these folders?

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    0 Votes
    remmrich

    try the Microsoft Windows Installer Cleanup Utility from Microsoft. Available on Cnet

    +
    0 Votes
    dklauk

    I opened the folder in question in My Cmputer and deleted the files within it so that the folder was empty. I then clicked the folder name and deleted it at that point. It was successfully deleted this way.

    Hope this helps.

    dekesc

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    0 Votes
    newmarketcomics

    I tried various tools recommended here. Some tools like unlocker can remove the folders, but after reboot, then they come up again.
    Seanferd was right when he mentioned that they are owned by window. I checked the process which is using those folders, and it is winlogon.exe.
    Unless I can locate the initialization (file?) of winlogon.exe and remove the entry from the initialization, I think there is no way to remove it completely.

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    0 Votes
    dcunningham81

    That would be a good way not to log on, period. An empty folder is taking a minimal amount of space. I feel if you succeeded in deleting the folder, you won't come back after reboot. If it is tied in to windows logon.exe then leave it alone since there must be a reason for it.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    dcunningham81 is right. These folders effectively take up zero space.

    In fact, if you could find a way to keep these deleted, the trade-off would be Windows trying to find these many times a day. When it can't find them, it will look again and again, sometimes in different places, any time Explorer or something else calls for a list of directories.

    You can even check on this sort of thing with something that tracks I/O calls (like Sysinternals Process Monitor) and see all the activity missing files and directories produce. You would probably never notice anything yourself, but it certainly outweighs by far the existence of a couple of zero-byte folders.

    +
    0 Votes
    Niall Baird

    You will probably find that its the 'self repair' option of some programs. For example, the Xerox program is possibly a printer / printer driver that you have not uninstalled, so every time you try to delete the 'program files' folder, it will self repair and put it back again. I believe Frontpage is part of IIS, so if you have anything that's using IIS, you will not be able to get rid of the program files folder until you've uninstalled IIS.

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    0 Votes
    Cuffy10

    Google any one of those file names using "how to remove" and it will turn up more information than you'll ever need.

  • +
    1 Votes
    seanferd

    Depending on the applications, they may have had drivers or something that loads and starts with the core of the OS, and the folders are referenced by these. Or active parts of the app were never removed from RAM. Rebooting should help.


    It may be that the apps didn't uninstall properly (bad design, or the OS is "confused"). It might help to run a gentle registry cleaner (like the registry cleaning function of CCleaner) to remove straggling registry references to these folders.

    Some applications, for example, some versions of Norton internet security apps, require going to the vendors site to get a purpose-built "cleanup uninstaller" to truly remove the app.

    If none of this is helping you, please let us know what operating system you are using, what uninstalled applications are involved, and which folders refuse to go away.

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Hidden Files which will not appear but still be present in these folders.

    As stated above there are many reasons why this is happening but without knowning more and a lot more like which OS, what Folders and what was the name of the deleted applications it's impossible to be more specific.

    But regardless if you can not delete these folders it's because Windows thinks that they not only are being used but are actually In Use.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    jangirke

    Here is a tool that helps:
    http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/
    Rant:
    Because Windows is programed by some lazy folks.
    Who implement features now that had to be included since NT.
    Or more likely:
    Nah if we put in any more usefulness we have to sell it as windows 10.

    +
    0 Votes
    newmarketcomics

    I tried Ccleaner, and the folders remain untouched, and there is no such thing as hidden files here as I set my folder option to view all including the hidden files. The OS is WinXP SP2, and those folders are c:\program files\microsoft frontpage\version3.0\bin, c:\program files\msn gaming zone\window, c:\program files\xerox\nwwia.
    Am able to delete these folders in Safe Mode, but once back to Normal Mode, these folders come up again.

    +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    actually, there are "super" hidden files that supercede the simple "hidden files" feature. however, it is doubtful that "super" hide is enable for those undeletable folders, unless 1) the folders belong to a specialty program used for concealing files or 2) the folders are malware related.

    what you might try is booting in safe mode and try removing that folder. incidentally, it might also be linked to a start-up or service, which you may not be using anymore. so you may need to do a clean boot, because that folder is no longer present.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    In that case, the key is that they come back when you boot normally. So, delete the files/folders in Safe Mode, run CCleaner to clean up the registry, and then reboot to see if they come back again. Since their registry references should be gone, Windows should not attempt to resurrect them.

    You could also manually scan the registry to find references to these folders and remove them yourself.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    If I'm not mistaken, all of those folders are owned by the operating system, and you cannot delete them at all. If you were to delete them while the OS was offline, they would just be re-created.

    +
    1 Votes
    wompai

    CCleaner is a great option indeed. I noticed that the folders you've been trying to delete are mostly from Windows components which might contain valuable OS files, if CCleaner can't touch 'm you might start thinking about leaving them as they are and not concern about anything, have you noticed any problems which originate from these folders?

    +
    0 Votes
    remmrich

    try the Microsoft Windows Installer Cleanup Utility from Microsoft. Available on Cnet

    +
    0 Votes
    dklauk

    I opened the folder in question in My Cmputer and deleted the files within it so that the folder was empty. I then clicked the folder name and deleted it at that point. It was successfully deleted this way.

    Hope this helps.

    dekesc

    +
    0 Votes
    newmarketcomics

    I tried various tools recommended here. Some tools like unlocker can remove the folders, but after reboot, then they come up again.
    Seanferd was right when he mentioned that they are owned by window. I checked the process which is using those folders, and it is winlogon.exe.
    Unless I can locate the initialization (file?) of winlogon.exe and remove the entry from the initialization, I think there is no way to remove it completely.

    +
    0 Votes
    dcunningham81

    That would be a good way not to log on, period. An empty folder is taking a minimal amount of space. I feel if you succeeded in deleting the folder, you won't come back after reboot. If it is tied in to windows logon.exe then leave it alone since there must be a reason for it.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    dcunningham81 is right. These folders effectively take up zero space.

    In fact, if you could find a way to keep these deleted, the trade-off would be Windows trying to find these many times a day. When it can't find them, it will look again and again, sometimes in different places, any time Explorer or something else calls for a list of directories.

    You can even check on this sort of thing with something that tracks I/O calls (like Sysinternals Process Monitor) and see all the activity missing files and directories produce. You would probably never notice anything yourself, but it certainly outweighs by far the existence of a couple of zero-byte folders.

    +
    0 Votes
    Niall Baird

    You will probably find that its the 'self repair' option of some programs. For example, the Xerox program is possibly a printer / printer driver that you have not uninstalled, so every time you try to delete the 'program files' folder, it will self repair and put it back again. I believe Frontpage is part of IIS, so if you have anything that's using IIS, you will not be able to get rid of the program files folder until you've uninstalled IIS.

    +
    0 Votes
    Cuffy10

    Google any one of those file names using "how to remove" and it will turn up more information than you'll ever need.