Windows – Booting into Safe Mode

If Windows can not delete a file or folder, the cause may be one of the following:

  • The file or folder to be deleted is used by system processes
  • To delete the folder contains hidden files or folders
  • The file or folder is read-only
  • The file system’s hard disk has errors
  • The system is infected with a virus
  • The hard drive is faulty (hardware problems)
  • The file or folder belongs to another user who has not left the rights to delete the file.

Windows may display one of the following error messages:

  • Error deleting file or folder
  • Can not delete file: Access Denied
  • Can not 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 the file That IS NOT Currently in use.
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and the file is not currently used

Preamble – Show All Files

To show hidden files and system files:
Open My Computer

  • Tools -> Folder Options
  • View -> Advanced Settings box
  • Check: Display the contents of system folders
  • Hidden files and folders
  • Check: Show hidden files and folders
  • Uncheck: Hide extensions for file types is known
  • Uncheck: Hide protected files of the operating system (recommended). answer Yes to the message
  • Click “Apply to All Folders”
  • Click OK

Safe Mode

First, try to restart the computer in Safe Mode (reboot and tap the F5 key before Windows loads), then delete the file again.

Copy and paste the same file / folder

The first solution may be to place a level above the tree, create a folder or file with the same name and then make a copy and paste the location of the file recalcitrant.
Ex: You want to delete the following file c: \ movie \ filename.avi

  • Be placed in C:
  • Create a new text file and rename filename.avi (the system asks if you want to change the extension, say yes)
  • Drag this new file in the c: \ film
  • When the system asks you, say you want to replace the existing file
  • Now try deleting the file


Another solution may be to click on Ctrl + Alt + Delete and stop the explorer.exe process. The icons and the taskbar will disappear. Then do File / New Task and run cmd.

  • Moving to go to the folder using the command
  • Delete the file using the command
  • Redo File / New Task and run explorer.exe this time.

If it worked, the file no longer exists.

Analysis of the hard drive

It is recommended to analyze the hard drive with Scandisk: Right-click the hard drive in question in the desktop, then click on Properties and select the “Tools” tab. In the “Error-checking”, click Check Now.
Try to delete the file when the scan is complete.

Passage in safe mode

Try to repeat the Scandisk in Safe Mode. Try to delete the file in safe mode.

Use an antivirus

Scan the computer with updated antivirus.

Leave a Comment