Cannot delete a file in windows? Learn how to Delete files and processes.

Filed Under: Software, Windows Tips

Are you in a situation where you Cannot delete a file in windows? Does Windows throw ‘file access denied‘ or ‘File in use‘ error? If you can’t delete a file or a process and even rebooting does not help, then here are a few simple methods to delete files and processes in windows.

How to delete a Windows Process?

  • 1. Start Windows Task Manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. You can also open Windows Task Manager by going to Start => Run. Then type in taskmgr and press OK.
  • 2. Go to Processes tab and you will find all active processes. Find the process by its name.Select it with your mouse or keyboard and click on the End Process button to kill the process

You can also try the free Sophos anti-rootkit for removal of malicious processes.

How to delete a file that is malicious or cannot be deleted?

To delete a malicious file or a file that can’t be deleted, if you know the file name or part of it, go to Start => Search => All Files and Folders and type in the file name or part of it in the search field. Specify the search location under Look In drop-down. Click Search button. You will normally be able to find the file in the search results.

Search Files

However, many malware hide their files. Hence you will have to enable the display of hidden and system protected files. To do so, Open Windows Explorer, Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options. Go to the View tab and under “Advanced Settings”, find the option “Show hidden files and folders” and select it. Then remove the check mark against “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)“.

Show Hidden Files

The best way to see all hidden files is by launching the command Prompt. Go to Start => Run and type in “cmd”. Press enter or click on the OK button. Type in “dir /A <name_of_the_folder>” and press ENTER. This will list all the files, including hidden files that reside in that folder (<name_of_the_folder>).

View Windows folder

If you find the malicious files, simply delete them through windows Explorer or any other file removal program.Then, empty the Recycle bin. If you get an error message saying that the file is in use and cannot be removed, try terminating the associated process by following the steps listed under “how to terminate a Process” and then delete the malicious files. However, some processes (including malicious processes) will run immediately after you terminate them.So you will have to reboot the PC in Windows Safe Mode. In windows Safe Mode, many system services are disabled by default and programs in the start up list, do not run automatically on start up. It is thus easy to delete the malicious files.

Despite the above, it is sometimes not possible to delete malicious files even after entering into Safe Mode! Sophisticated malware and parasites use integrated root-kits and special techniques to lock the files and thereby preventing them from being deleted.In such cases, it is advisable to use special tools to delete them. “KillBox” is one such tool designed for terminating harmful and malicious processes and also deleting malicious files and folders containing the malware.

KillBox is normally used to delete in-use files, if the file is running, and it will attempt to end the process (close the running file) and delete the associated files. Free download KillBox from here. There is no need to install the tool.Run the downloaded file to launch the utility.

  • 1. Type in the full path of the file you want to delete.You can browse for the desired file using the browse button or Drag & Drop a file from Windows Explorer to the KillBox Combobox
  • 2. Select the Standard File Kill option and click on Delete File button indicated by a red cross
Cannot delete a file in windows

If KillBox fails to delete the file, it is recommended to repeat the above removal procedure by booting in windows safe mode. If the file cannot be deleted in Safe Mode too, repeat the removal steps, but this time select the “Delete on Reboot” option instead of the “Standard File Kill”. Then, restart your computer. KillBox will attempt to delete the file on next system start up.

That is it! Remove the most stubborn files in windows by using the above methods!

If a program is not responding then read this tutorial on how to deal with not responding programs in windows. Also read on how to erase hard drive data completely clean for free. you can also download a free uninstaller software to remove programs in windows.

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