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Unable to delete folder

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,799
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Unable to delete folder

HI

I consistently get problems deleting folders I have created. Usually these are temporary foilders I have created for downloads. The error is usually Cannot delete xxxxx: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.

Often I have unzipped RAR or Zip files from these folders but they have been Exited and a check in Windows Task Manager shows they are not running.

Sometimes I cannot delete them unless I set the display to List or Details as well it's parent folder.

Other times the folder has been made Read only (not by me) and unsetting this option often rectifies it, other times the folder remains locked until a reboot.

All files have been moved out of the offending solders so I cannot see what can be causing this.

Any help, please?

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

12 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Unable to delete folder

Hi,

Do you have the folder open at the time? That could be one reason. Another if you have Windows Explorer set to give you a preview of the files it can sometimes do it. That's one of the settings I automatically switch off after a new install of Windows because of how annoying it is.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,799
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Unable to delete folder

Yep, even without the folder open it still refuses to delete.

That still doesn't solve the issue of sometimes the folder being set to Read only even though I never created or set it that way.

Thanks for your input Smiley

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Unable to delete folder

Is the parent folder read only? Wondering if the permissions are inherited.
N/A

Unable to delete folder

Do you have any p2P running as if its in your share folder then it may be locked by someone downloading from it.

It can also happen if you have opened a file and the application has it in its history and it keeps looking for the file or the application hasn't released its memory.
Moderator
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Unable to delete folder

@dtomlinson

Yes - I have traversed to the top level (which has sometimes been Read only, sometimes not. From there I have unset the Read only option yet still it returns.

@mwright

I don't use P2P. Your second point is what I have been thinking but, sometimes, a folder cannot be deleted yet the files in it have never been access, just saved from IE or moved from another folder.

The folder is definitely empty now and I have 'Show hidden files, so there isn't anything else there I don't know about.

It's very imconvenient but not drastic as I can delete after a reboot.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

N/A

Unable to delete folder

You could always try unlocker, it's a great little program (FREE) with can kill processes then allowing you to delete the file. If you can not delete the file for whatever reason, it will mark the file to auto delete on the next reboot.

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

Enjoy Cool
Trapper_Dave
Grafter
Posts: 131
Registered: 17-06-2007

Unable to delete folder

Can't you run taskmanager when the issue occurs and see if there any applications which might be causing the issue?
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Unable to delete folder

I did mention that in my original post Smiley

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Walrus
Grafter
Posts: 394
Registered: 30-07-2007

Unable to delete folder

Process Explorer from Sysinternals (now part of Microsoft) can be used to find what is locking a file/folder open.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/ProcessExplorer.mspx

Use the 'Find' menu, and type the file/folder name or partial name, and a list of results will be displayed. You should be able to find what is hogging the folder here.

It may not be a direct answer, but should enable you to find the exact cause of your issue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Unable to delete folder

This is a simple problem to fix.
Open a command prompt window then task manager. In processes kill explorer.exe. You will then be able to delete any files/folders using the command line. After you have done this restart windows explorer using the run option in task manager or by logging out and back in.
Aterlatus
Grafter
Posts: 114
Registered: 01-08-2007

Unable to delete folder

Or since you already have the command prompt open, just type "explorer" in there and hit enter to fire it up again.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Unable to delete folder

Quote
This is a simple problem to fix.
Open a command prompt window then task manager. In processes kill explorer.exe. You will then be able to delete any files/folders using the command line. After you have done this restart windows explorer using the run option in task manager or by logging out and back in.


Actually that is a 'Workaround' NOT a FIX. A Fix would be if the thread starter was given advice which means they don't have to do what you've said everytime. I admit your workaround will do the trick and is effective BUT it doesn't cure the root problem.

The read only thing on folders is a issue I've found on WinXP SP2 myself. I don't know what causes it or how to get around it but it is random. One day a folder is not read only the next day it is - yet the strange thing is you can still write to it when it is read only!
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