5 Solutions for “Cannot Delete Files/Folder Error” in Windows 11

Few days back, when I tried to delete a file on my Windows 10 laptop. Suddenly I got an error message which says, “The file cannot be deleted”. It is very annoying for me as I wish to delete this file, as it has occupied my disk space unnecessarily. In certain cases, the error can be resolved easily, but for novices and the elderly who might not be that tech savvy.

So, in this article, we are showing you some best solutions to resolve this problem.

Why I Am Getting “Cannot Delete File/Folder error”?

The error can occur due to the following reasons:

  • The file you are trying to delete is opened or use
  • You do not have the appropriate permissions
  • The file is corrupted

How To Fix “Folder In Use Cannot Delete” Issue On Windows 11/10

After trying and testing different tips and tactics to fix the “Cannot Delete Folder Windows 11/10” problem, we’ve found these four solutions to work most effectively. 

Solution 1: Reboot Your Computer

It can be the first solution which you can apply when you are getting this error. As rebooting a Computer will clean the cache, close all temp files, any running background process etc. This solution will always be helpful in most of cases. However, in case this it doesn’t solve the issue, you can try other solution provided below.

See Also: Best PC Cleaner Software to Optimize Your System

Solution 2: Terminate the Process

The great thing about Windows operating system is you can see all the running task on your Computer. As it has a Task Manager who manages the all running process. It doesn’t only show you process but it also gives you the option to terminate the task which might be preventing your files from deletion.

For example: if you wish to delete a Microsoft office file, which is not deleting. Then you can find the related process in Task Manager and you can terminate the task from there. You can see the steps provided below:

STEP 1 – Right-click on the taskbar and click on Taskbar settings (if using Windows 11), and you can further look for the Task Manager option via the search box. Click on the relevant result to proceed!  

On Windows 10, you can click the Task Manager option on the screen.

can’t delete a folder

STEP 2 – Now, navigate to the Processes Tab and hunt for the item which prevents you from deleting the file. You need to right-click on the same and click on the End Task option.

cannot delete file windows 10

Hopefully, this resolves your “Cannot delete file Windows 10/11” error quickly in a couple of clicks! 

Solution 3: Take Help Of A Third-Party Tool To Resolve ‘Can’t Delete Files’ Problem

Fortunately, the market has dozens of third-party applications that will allow users to resolve the “Folder in use cannot delete” problem in no time. We recommend using the EaseUS BitWiper tool for the purpose that supports cleaning up junk files, shredding files permanently, and wiping entire data securely. The software is entirely compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 PC/Laptop. As soon as you run the program and clean your device carefully, chances are you no longer face issues like ‘Can’t delete a folder on Windows 11/10 PC anymore. All you have to do is: 

STEP 1 – Download, install and launch the EaseUS BitWiper tool and navigate to the File Shredder module. 

Easeus Bitwiper

STEP 2 – Add files you would like to shred. Be it documents, images, music files, etc., to the center area. 

Easeus Bitwiper

STEP 3 – Now, hit the Shred button to confirm the process. 

Easeus Bitwiper shredder module

Hopefully, the data you’re trying to remove can be easily shredded using the abovementioned method. With this, you no longer have to face the “Can’t delete files” error on your Windows 11/10 PC.

Solution 4: Change the Ownership/Permission

The error which prevents you from deletion of files and folders can occur due to lack of the permission/ownership. To resolve the problem, you can try to modify or change the permission of that folder or file. To do so you can follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Open the properties of the file/folder which you are unable to delete.

Open properties to change ownership

Step 2 –Now, tap on the Security tab and then tap on Advanced.

folder in use cannot delete windows 10

Step 3 – Next, click on the Permissions and modify the permission of any entry shows you Deny.

permission edit for file

Hope this step will help to delete the file/folder.

Solution 5: Run CHKDSK Utility

Run CHKDSK Utility

The error can also be occurred if the file system is corrupted. To resolve this issue, run the CHKDSK utility on the disk volume to correct any errors. Software bugs, bad sectors on the disk can corrupt the file system. Once you run the CHKDSK utility, system will scan for corrupted files and try to resolve the problem if it can.

That’s all, folks! I hope these solutions worked for you to resolve the “Folder in use cannot delete” error on your Windows PC. You can drop a line in the comments section below if you have any comments or suggestions. You can also get in touch with us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram handle!

Next Read: Best Free Startup Manager Tools For Windows PC

Frequently Asked Questions | More About Folder In Use Cannot Delete Windows 11/10 Error

Q1. How to delete files and folders that cannot be deleted in Windows?

Follow the instructions below to eliminate the “can’t delete a folder” issue on Windows PC/Laptop.

  • Restart the computer
  • Close all programs
  • Terminate unwanted processes
  • Use the third-party program to shred data securely
  • Run CHKDSK command line

Q2. How to delete a file or folder with a command prompt?

To delete a file using a Command Prompt, here’s what you need to do:

  • Launch CMD utility and run as administrator.
  • Type in the field the following command where the path will be replaced with the complete path of the file you want to remove securely – del path
  • Hit the Enter button!

Q3. How do I delete a file in Windows 10?

Find the file you wish to delete and right-click on the same. Hit the Delete button from the context menu that appears on your screen.

Q4. How to delete files and folders in Notepad?

All you need to do is highlight the text in the Notepad box and press the Delete button on your keyboard. Type CTRL + O and right-click in the Notepad box. In the following prompt on your screen, click the Yes button to proceed!

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