View Full Version : Cannot delete file, being used by another person or program

07-11-2005, 12:26 PM
"Cannot delete file because it's being used by another person or program."

i got this error message while trying to delete a file recently. The file was MSNmessenger's install exe that i was just downloading but was corrupted when i canceled the download early on accident.


the link above will take you to a description of the problem as well as a solution. My problem is that i have tried all those methods (restarting the computer then deleting, restarting in safe mode then deleting) and i still get the exact same error message.

does anyone know how to force delete something like this?

07-11-2005, 01:50 PM
Apologies if this was one solution and didn't work but why not just boot from a floppy/CD and then move it? When you know that didn't cause problems with windows starting/running, delete it.


07-11-2005, 09:42 PM
I had this problem recently with an avi file. I opened the task manager and closed every task, 1 by 1, trying to delete the file after closing each task. Eventually I got rid of it.

07-12-2005, 06:59 AM
If you know how to use the command line (DOS), you can try this (Win2k/XP). Chances are the program using the file will be Windows Explorer.exe, so you need to kill it first.

1) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and click the "Processes" tab, then click on the "explorer.exe" file, then click the "End Task" button.

2) In the "Task Manager" window click "File" > "New Task (Run...)".

3) Type "cmd" and hit Enter.

4) Navigate to the folder where the offending file resides.

5) Type "del XXX" (where XXX is the name of the file).

6) The file should now be deleted.

7) Re-start "explorer.exe" by following step 2.

Hopefully that fixes it.