The Windows operating system automatically locks files and folders that are being used by an application or any native Windows service. Stopping services or closing the applications that are locking the file or folder is not always an option. The familiar message, “Cannot delete file: It is being used by another program” can be an annoyance when you are trying to modify the name of the file, move it or delete. Free File Unlocker is a utility that allows you to release files and folders that are in use so that you can make the desired modifications or delete the file or folder altogether. You can use it to view all locked files and folders on your computer and manage them. By selecting a folder, you can instantly see a listing of the files causing the error. Using File Unlocker, you can unlock files and/ or kill the processes locking the file. Another interesting feature this utility offers is the ability to terminate viruses, Trojans, and other malware that are not being removed by standard methods.
Download Free File Unlocker from the following link:
When you see any of the error messages below, this is when you can use Free File Unlocker to gain access to files and make the desired modifications. Free File Unlocker is intended for advanced users. These error messages are specified on the readme.txt file that opens after you install the utility.
- Cannot delete folder: It is being used by another person or program
- Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use
- Cannot delete file: Access is denied
- The file is in use by another program or user
- There has been a sharing violation
- The source or destination file may be in use
- Cannot read from the source file or disk
You will see the Locked File / Directory bar at the top of the user interface where you can specify the path for the Locked file or folder. Click the Select button to the left of the path field to choose between File or Directory and All Locked Files or Directories. The details will appear in the main field of the interface.
Select the file that needs to be unlocked and click Unlock in the right pane. If you want to unlock all locked files or directories, click Select and choose All Locked Files or Directories and then click Unlock All. You can also use the right-click context menu to unlock specific files without even using the main interface, as the option is integrated into the Windows context menu.
It is important to note that files are locked by Windows for a reason; otherwise it would not be a standard Windows default. You should have a complete understanding of the effects that unlocking a file will ultimately yield. This means Free File Unlocker is intended for advanced users and should not be used frivolously. The only time it is reasonable to use this utility is when user-initiated services and applications are blocking access to files and folders. You should not use the “Unlock All” option unless you are an advanced user and understand the implications. It was only mentioned in this article to give you an idea of the scope of options that this utility offers.
Update: The Free File Unlocker application is no longer available. I suggest you use the two alternatives that serve the same purpose listed above.