I'm not allowed to delete a file in Windows 10

Super frustrating: You try to delete a file in Windows 10 (or an earlier version of Windows) and you get a message that the file is in use. What now?

Well, make sure that the file is no longer in use of course. That sounds very logical (and it is), but it is not always easy. Because sometimes, ironically, the file is in use by Windows Explorer and you'll have to close that program to release the file again. Anyway, how do you delete the file if you don't have Windows Explorer open. Difficult, but not impossible. First, make sure you've closed all your programs that could be causing the conflict. Also read: 13 tips for Windows 10.

Close Windows Explorer

You can of course close Windows Explorer by clicking the cross at the top right. While that is normally the case, this time we recommend that you do it a little more rigorously, simply to avoid having another process running in the background. Press Ctrl + alt + del and click task management. Now find Windows Explorer under the heading name, right click on it and then click end. Windows Explorer will now close completely.

Delete file

But how do you delete the file now? The old-fashioned way, via the Command Prompt (say Windows without a graphical jacket). click on Start, type CMD and then click Command Prompt once this is found.

A small black window will now open. Navigate to the folder containing the non-deletable file. You do this with the command CD (change directory). Suppose the file is in the Users / Marti folder (as in my case) then you type cd users\marti. If you are already in a folder you can go all the way back to c: by typing: CD\. You can also see which folders are in a folder by typing dir. Did you find the file? Then type del filename.extension. So if the file is called Martin.doc, type del martin.doc. When the file has been deleted you can start Windows Explorer again.

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