Can't delete virus? Try Killbox

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 13, 2007
Updated • Jun 1, 2013
Antivirus, Security

You may have encountered the following issue during scans for viruses and other malicious software on your system. A malicious file was identified by your favorite virus scanner and it prompts for action. You can delete, move, rename or move the file into quarantine. It is however not possible to delete the malicious file when you select to do so because the file is currently in use and can't be deleted, or it uses some kind of protection to evade the deletion.

While you could boot into a Linux system using a live cd or a different operating system to delete the file from outside, it is not really a comfortable option.

A better way to cope with the situation is to use the freeware Pocket Killbox which deletes selected files before the next system start. Simply start Pocket Killbox and navigate to the file that was identified as a virus. Select delete on reboot and hit the red X icon on the upper right corner of Pocket Killbox. It will prompt for a reboot, select yes and the virus should be automatically deleted during start up.

It can do so because the file gets deleted when Windows is not fully running so that the file in question has not been loaded yet.

It should be clear that you can use the freeware on all files, not only malicious files. Sometimes, regular files cannot be deleted as well no matter what you try and do. In this case, Pocket Killbox may help you as well to delete the files on the next reboot of the system.

Just perform a second scan to make sure the virus was really deleted by Pocket Killbox. The program is not the only tool that you can use for that purpose. The previously reviewed File Unlocker or Unlocker can also be used for the very same purpose.

The two programs try to remove any ties a file has with the operating system or processes running on it so that it can be deleted right in the current session without the need to reboot the system at all. They may however have issues with files that have been infected.

Just try both options and start with Unlocker, this is my suggestion as you do not have to reboot your PC if successful. The KillBoc program has not been updated for a while, but it is still working just fine even on newer versions of the Windows operating system.


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  1. Peter Ackermann said on August 16, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Thanks it worked perfectly :)

  2. Frank Zaber said on March 14, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve used this for over a year. Also great for stopping hung or frozen programs.


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