Top Tricks to Delete Locked Files in Windows 10

Delete Locked Files in Windows 10

Delete Locked Files in Windows 10

Sometimes when you want to delete your Windows 10 system’s unused files/folder, a dialogue box appears with a message, “action is not permitted”. The reason for this to happen is because the file/folder you’re trying to delete is opened by another app, in the background, in-process, or is encrypted. It means there are locked files.

When Windows 10 puts a file into a locked state, you can’t delete, modify, rename or move it. Usually, in some cases, when the file is no longer in use, it gets unlocked.

But that doesn’t happen always. Also, you can’t wait for the file to be unused right?

If you want to delete a “locked file” quickly, we’ve listed a couple of useful methods.

Follow the steps in the method given below, and I hope you will be able to delete the locked files on your Windows 10 computer. If you need help with your technology, BCA IT in Miami is a managed IT support provider that can assist you.

Method 1: Boot your PC in Safe Mode and Delete locked Windows 10 files

What you will do here is boot your computer in safe mode and unlock the locked files. After that, you will try to delete the locked file.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • Press together, Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • When the Settings window opens, click on Update & Security.
  • Now, choose Recovery in the left pane.
  • Under Advanced startup, click on Restart Now.
  • Choose Troubleshoot and then Advanced Options. Click on Startup Settings and continue with
  • On Start Settings, you need to press F4 to enable Safe Mode.
  • After entering Safe Mode, delete the locked file.
  • Once done, exit the Safe Mode and return your PC to its normal state.

Method 2: Use Process Explorer to Delete locked Windows 10 files

Window’s Process Explorer is a dedicated software using which you will unlock the locked file and then try to delete it.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • First, download Process Explorer from Microsoft’s website.
  • After, downloading completes, extract the zip compressed folder.
  • If you’re running on 32-bit Windows 10 OS, double click on exe, and if 64-bit Windows 10 OS, click on procexp64.exe to launch the program.
  • When the application opens, click on File and then select Show Details for All Processes.
  • Click on Find and then select Find Handle or DLL.
  • Now, enter the lock file name in the field and click on Search.
  • When the file appears on the search results, select it. Behind the search window, the same file will be highlighted.
  • Right-click on that file and then click on Close Handle. It will unlock the file.
  • After the file gets unlocked, you can delete it.

Method 3: Delete locked Windows 10 files using Command Prompt

Command Prompt is a handy tool in Windows 10. In this method, you will use to delete a locked Windows 10 file.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • To open Command Prompt, type “cmd” on your Windows search bar.
  • Now, right-click on it and run as administrator. If prompted for access, click on Yes.
  • After it opens, type the command DEL <the file name here> /F /Q and press the Enter key, the locked file will be deleted.
  • “the file name here” should be replaced with a locked file name along with its file type extension.

Method 4: Delete locked Windows 10 files using “chkdsk” in Command Prompt

You can use the Command Prompt tool in Windows 10 and run the command “chkdsk” to check locked files and unlock them.

After you unlock it, the file can be deleted. Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • Go to your Windows search bar and enter cmd. It will open the Command Prompt
  • On the results page, right-click on Command Prompt and run it as administrator. When prompted for access, click on Yes.
  • When the Command Prompt window opens, enter the command chkdsk c: /f /r /x and then hit the Enter Key.
  • If the file’s drive location is not “C”, you can change it too.
  • This will unlock the locked file. Now, you can proceed to delete it from its location.

Method 5: Using Windows Recovery to Delete locked Windows 10 files

You will use the Windows re-installation disc and boot the PC using it. Enter into recovery mode and delete the locked file.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • First, insert the Windows re-installation disc and then turn off your computer.
  • Now, turn on your PC and boot it from the disc and not the hard disk.
  • Press the R key to put the computer into recovery mode.
  • In the recovery mode, using Command Prompt go to the location of the locked file.
  • Enter command like this example: cd C: Documents\Settings\My Documents\filename. Replace the example with the directory of the locked file.
  • After you locate the file, remove it using del and then enter the command exit and restart the computer.

Method 6: Using some Dedicated Software to Delete locked Windows 10 files

Now, we’ve already listed one dedicated software, i.e., Process Explorer to delete locked files. You can also use some other useful software like IOBit Unlocker and FileASSASSIN.

Unlock the locked files using them and then delete the files. Steps to unlock using each software are given below.

IOBit Unlocker

  • First, download for free IOBit Unlocker from here.
  • After download complete, install the application on your computer.
  • When the installation is complete, open the IOBit Unlocker
  • Now, all you need to do is drag and drop the locked file/folder into the application’s window.
  • Choose from a variety of options like- delete, unlock, rename, move, copy, etc.


  • Download FileASSASSIN from here.
  • After the download completes, install the software and open it.
  • Now, drag the locked file/folder into the FileASSASSIN text area.
  • Select how you want the locked file/folder to be deleted. Choose from various options and then click on execute.
  • You can later access the files using FileASSASSIN.

Final Thoughts

I hope after you follow the steps in the methods and could delete the locked files in your Windows 10 OS.

Make sure you follow each method until your locked files get deleted. There are various method options to choose from.

A genuine Windows will rarely give you such issues or the need to delete locked files. Make sure you always have a genuine Windows installation so that you can get official support and updates from Microsoft. If you wish t buy a genuine license for Windows 10, you can head over to DigitBrew and check out the Windows 10 price.

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