Skip to main content

Windox XP error - Cannot delete file

You try to delete the file, Windows waits a few seconds before announcing that access is denied, the file is currently in use and cannot be deleted. File access denied ? File in use error Or Cannot delete file or folder even after system reboot ? Even if you boot into safe mode and try to delete the file or folder, XP throws the same problem..

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP, you would have faced a problem that at certain times, a file (like .exe, .doc) cannot be deleted because the file is in "use". When you try to delete a file, Windows may complain: "Cannot delete file: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again."

You have several alternatives to fix this "cannot delete" problem and all are free to download.

1. Unlocker - Unlocker is an explorer extension that allows you with a simple right-click of the mouse on a file or folder to get rid of error message such as error deleting file or folder, cannot delete folder: it is used by another person or program. Download Unlocker.

2: TotalCMD from or if you have need of a Norton Utilities type of program.

3: Dwnload and install HijackThis which is an amazing little utility that is free and very useful. To use it to delete your file just execute and select the Config button at the lower right, then select the Misc tab at the top and then Delete a file on reboot, then you are asked for the location and name of the file, just browse your way to it or them and your done. Now when you reboot the file is gone

Helps delete locked files with error messages like:

- Cannot delete file: Access is denied
- There has been a sharing violation.
- The source or destination file may be in use.
- The file is in use by another program or user.
- Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Running Windows XP with NTFS file system, I one day noticed that a .exe file on the desktop (C: drive) could not be deleted. (With this exception, Windows seems to work just fine.)