How to: Unlock Locked Files and Folders in MS Windows

Yesterday, I was installing a software for testing purpose in Windows 7 RC but setup never ran. I have installed and used that piece of software on my other two laptops; one running XP and other running Win 7. (I used Vista Ultimate for some time but never like Vista and washed it a long time ago from my systems). You may know that Windows 7 supports more than 95% of software which can be installed on Windows XP. So, this behavior was a surprised for me. It was a fresh download, so, I thought might be corrupted download. I wanted to move it to Recycle Bin but it denied to obey.It can happen that in such case the file refused to be deleted. You may receive different types of messages like the source file is in use or Windows is unable to delete it, etc. This means file is locked and you can not move it, rename it, delete it. No need to be worried. There are many software available to handle this situation. The best one is Unlocker. It is simple, lite, free piece of software.

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Unlocker is the best choice in this situation because of its handling of such conditions. You simply download 255KB installer and install it. After installation, when you will do a right click on any file or folder, you will notice that there is one more entry named Unlocker. Simply, you select Unlocker from the menu and after few seconds, you will get a message of unlocking the file/folder. After unlocking, you will also received three options which you ignore if you want.

When you select any action through Unlocker, it gives three options (see snap for more detials);

1: Delete:
If you want to delete the unlocked object, use this option.
2: Rename
It let you rename the object after unlocking it.
3: Move

You can move that unlocked object to any location on your computer.

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The best thing is Unlocker does not kill any running process in your operating system. I was expecting such built-in support in Windows 7 but I could not find it. I do not know that this functionality is available in Windows 7 or not. If there is any such built-in function, please, let me know.

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7 thoughts on “How to: Unlock Locked Files and Folders in MS Windows

  1. Using a shredder also do the trick, though it seemed a little aggressive and is only suitable for deleting a file.AFAIK, i don't think Windows 7 had such built-in function, unless you manually modify it in Safe Mode. Taking ownership of the file might work, but i'm not so sure. Best thing is still to use a third-party software, i guess. IObit's Security 360 has a function called 'Unlock & Delete' which also do the trick. You might wanna cover that software here, Techgeek…;)

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  2. Not every shredder can delete the locked file. The basic purpose of shredder is to remove the traces of the file not to just delete it. IObit Sec 360 is beta and will not be free. I will cover it if there would be any free promo available. Thanks for informing me. 😉

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  3. @ FatCat – Yes! its my pleasure. Do not forget to fill a short form which you can access by pressing Contact button in top-menu of page. It is for my record and lot more.

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  4. @ Anonymous,If you're coming back to read this post, i just learn that there's a free tool called LockHunter which works with both 32-bit & 64-bit Windows. It is not as good as the Unlocker introduced here by Techgeek, but it works nice…:D BTW, Techgeek, is it okay with you if i add a link that connects to your blog on my blog?

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  5. Tried deleting SsiEfr.exe with unlocker and it failed. It asked me whether I wanted to delete on next reboot, and I said yes, but that didn't work either.Is anyone as pissed as me that windows won't let me delete a file on my own computer?

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