Open or Delete Files Locked by Other Programs

files lockedYou have probably come across this problem while working with your files and folders: you try to open a file, but you get an ‘Access denied – File in use’ message. Similarly, you might try to delete a file, but you can’t do this as the file is locked by some other program and you see the familiar message: ‘File is in use or write-protected…

In this case, it helps if you have a program called File & Folder Unlocker. This freeware utility gives you complete control over locked files and folders. With this program, you can search files that are in use by other programs, list them and specific programs that hold them open, and easily unlock those files.

The main product Web site lists all features as follows:


  • Searches all system and process handles
  • Searches all loaded system drivers
  • Searches all loaded processes and modules
  • Searches all files opened remotely

Main Uses:

  • Unlocking file or folder objects that are locked
  • Searching for files that are open or locked
  • Finding which process has a file or folder open
  • Listing all files & folders held open by a specific process
  • Listing all files & folders held open by all processes
  • Listing all files & folders held open by remote (network) users

Other Features:

  • Shows ALL File and Directory objects, including advanced file object types like “\Device\Tcp”
  • Supports partial searches (eg. “.txt”)
  • Smart disk name detection
  • Shows both process and handle IDs
  • Right-click Explorer integration for easy access on-demand searching
  • Supports drag-and-dropping of a file or folder
  • Comprehensive process list even shows parameters
  • Resizable display for easier viewing
  • Ability to show just regular files to filter out advanced file objects
  • Export capability allows you to save customized results as text files

The software is compatible with Windows 2000 and XP. Thanks to the Jkwebtalks blog for drawing my attention to this utility.

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