How To Delete Files That Won’t Delete

Sometimes you might come across a file that simply won’t delete, no matter how many times you hit the Delete key or drag it to the Recycle Bin. This can be for a number of reasons, but the upshot is the same: it’s incredibly frustrating. So here are five different methods which should allow you to finally get rid of these troublesome files.

Just bear in mind that Windows system files are usually protected against deletion, as this can cause problems with the operating system, so be sure you’re not trying to get rid of those. Of course, it’s always wise to run a full backup in case anything goes wrong, so here\’s how to back up Windows 10 before you begin.

Method 1. Close apps

Often, the problem of a file that can\’t be deleted can be caused by an app that is currently using the file. You might not know that the software in question is doing this, but the simplest way to fix things is to close down all the open applications on your PC.

Once everything is shut down, try deleting the file and hopefully you’ll find that it will now disappear without further problems.

Method 2. Close Windows Explorer

While closing all of your apps can often do the trick, it’s also possible that the thing blocking deletion of the file is Windows Explorer – also called File Explorer.

To close this you’ll need to open Task Manager (right click on the taskbar and then select it from the pop-up menu) and scroll down until you find Windows Explorer. Right click on it and then select End task from the menu.

how to delete files that wont delete

Select Close Handle and the file will be unlocked from the app using it. You might need to repeat this final step if multiple apps are holding the file.

Once that’s done you should now be able to finally delete the file.

If you want to clean up your hard drive even further then also take a look at How to delete duplicate files in Windows and How to uninstall programs in Windows 10. 

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