Unable to delete file: being used by another person or program

Updated: 05/06/2017 by Computer Hope

DeleteThis 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 steps.

Tip: Try waiting a few moments and then deleting the file again. Although it isn't typical, sometimes a program may have been using a file that has had an issue, which makes it slower to close. In this instance, the program may still be using the file you're attempting to delete, which generates this error message.

Using Windows Resource Monitor

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type resmon.exe and press Enter.
  2. In the window that appears, click the CPU tab.
  3. In the third bar from the top, you should see the label Associated Handles.
  4. Type the name of the file you're trying to close into the Search Handles bar, and then click the magnifying glass icon.
  5. Locate the program that is using your file.
  6. Right-click the program using the file in question and select End Process.

Additional information