“Cannot delete file it is being used by another person or program”

Asked By 50 points N/A Posted on -


For a long period we keep on getting this error message when removing a file or renaming a file/folder in windows.

This is a weird problem and the error message is “Cannot delete xxx (filename/folder). It is being used by another person or program”. Not just this, we also get other errors such as “Cannot delete file: Access is denied, There has been a sharing violation etc”. Need a solution.


Out of screen spaces for error boxes.

Please help.

Thanks in advance.

Best Answer by kathkath12
Best Answer
Best Answer
Answered By 0 points N/A #137792

“Cannot delete file it is being used by another person or program”


You need to wait for a minute and then try to delete the same file again. This sometimes happens when Windows or other programs is in the process of closing and for this, the file is consider as still in use so you cannot delete it. Close the Windows Explorer and then re-open it again after a while. Search for the program that is using the file and then close it. If you are not sure which program is using the file, try to close the entire programs and then try to delete the file again.

You may also use Unlocker. This is a free software that can unlock any file being used on Windows or other programs without having to restart your computer. This can also let you delete files or folders with just few clicks. You can download it from the link below:


After installing, run the program and then delete the file. If you are still unable to delete the file, maybe something is using it from the background. Try to reboot into Safe Mode and delete the file.



Answered By 0 points N/A #195735

“Cannot delete file it is being used by another person or program”



I have also received this message number of time. There is two way of receiving this message. First way is if you are opening a file or program from the directory which you are going to delete then this message is displaying. Because after you have deleted the folder there is no destination exist for store the file. The OS cannot handle this kind of situations.

The other way of having this problem is same as before but the difference is application or the file is still running in background process and you are not seeing. You think nothing is open from this folder and you can delete the folder.

In order to solve this you can go to task manager and stop the back ground process.

Then you will be able to delete.

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