Why some empty folders can't be deleted ?

By 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.

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All Answers

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Have you waited or rebooted and tried again?

by seanferd In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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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It may also involve

by OH Smeg In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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.


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Why some empty folders can't be deleted ?

by jangirke In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

Here is a tool that helps:
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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Further Info

by newmarketcomics In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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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Reponse To Answer

by databaseben In reply to Further Info

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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Reponse To Answer

by Bruce Epper In reply to Further Info

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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Reponse To Answer

by seanferd In reply to Further Info

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.

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CCleaner helps

by wompai In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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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Microsoft Installer Cleanup

by remmrich In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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

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Why some empty folders can't be deleted ?

by dklauk In reply to Why some empty folders ca ...

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.


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