Cannot delete file because it's being used by another person or program
Cannot delete file because it's being used by another person or program.
When attempting to delete a file or folder you may get an error message that contains the above message. Below is an additional example of what this error may look like. "xxxxxxx" is the location of the name of file or folder that is attempting to be deleted.
Error Deleting File or Folder
Cannot remove folder xxxxxx: It is being used by another person or program.
Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.
Note: As seen in the above example image this error message can occur when attempting to copy delete, and move a file already in use.
This error message is generated when the folder or files within the folder are locked because they are being used by Windows or another program running in Windows. To successfully delete this file, try following the below steps.
- Wait a minute and try deleting the file again, sometimes Windows or the program using the file may still be closing and therefore still using the file you're attempting to delete.
- Close and Explorer window and re-open.
- Locate the program using the file and close it. If you're uncertain what program is using the file, close all programs until you're able to delete the file.
- Try using unlocker, a free software program designed to unlock any file being used by Windows or other programs without restarting the computer.
- Reboot the computer. If after closing all programs you're still unable to delete the file, it's likely that something in the background is still using the file.
- If after rebooting the computer you're still unable to delete the file, boot the computer into Safe Mode and delete the file.