This is a problem that I come across from time to time.

“File in use” “The action can’t be completed because the file is open in another program” “Close the file and try again.”

I first witnessed the problem in Windows XP, where the error said: “Cannot delete Folder: It is being used by another person or program”. This error can also be witnessed as:

  • “Cannot delete file: Access is denied”
  • “There has been a sharing violation.”
  • “The source or destination file may be in use.”
  • “The file is in use by another program or user.”
  • “Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.”

The problem with these errors is that it doesn’t actually tell you what it is actually in use by. Previously I would reboot the machine or just kill ‘explorer.exe’ and hope for the best.

There must be a better way, I thought and there is!

I tried a few different solutions out there, and this is what I found:

The solution from lockhunter.com seemed to do the trick perfectly. Easy to install, easy to use. Great job.