Unlock files and folders with DeadLock for Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 27, 2015

DeadLock is a free program for the Windows operating system that helps you unlock files or folders that you cannot delete, move or rename because Windows claims they are still in use.

It seems that most Windows users encounter situations while using a computer running the operating system eventually that prevents them from moving, renaming or deleting files or folders because of "them being in use".

While the issue can be resolved sometimes by waiting, it won't go away that easily at other times. Basically, move, rename or delete operations can only be carried out if another application or Windows component has not locked the file or folder.

You can try this yourself easily. Load a video in your favorite media player and try to delete the video file afterwards. You get an error message that the action can't be completed because the file is open.

the action cant be completed

That's easy enough to fix as Windows suggests to close the program and try again. Sometimes however, a file or folder is locked even though there is no program open anymore that could have locked it.

That's when a software like DeadLock comes into play. DeadLock cuts all ties so to speak to allow file operations that cannot be completed.

To use it drag and drop files or folders into the program interface. DeadLock analyses all files and folders you have added to the interface this way, and displays status information for each of the items.


Locked indicates that the program is currently locked by another process. You find information about that process under details usually, but you may also get a status of unknown or unlocked.

The information displayed may reveal the program that is responsible for the locking of the file, its path, and its process ID.

Select a locked icon in the interface and then the unlock button to unlock it so that you can carry out the desired operation.

A click on the small arrow next to the unlock button displays options to copy, rename or delete the file right away.

You can make the whole operation comfortable by enabling Windows Explorer shell integration in the program options. Doing so enables you to right-click on problematic files or folders to unlock them right from Windows Explorer without having to launch DeadLock first.

Closing Words

DeadLock is as useful as Unlocker and other popular file and folder unlockers. Unlocker on the other hand fell from grace by adding various adware offers to the installer, while DeadLock's installer is clean and did not contain these offers at the time of testing.

software image
Author Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Software Name
Operating System
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. anaemic said on January 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Unlocker is very good for renaming and unlocking files and folders.
    Download from Major Geeks
    When installing Unlocker click on advanced then uncheck adware toolbar
    Uncheck update option

  2. XenoSilvano said on December 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I was hoping this program would rid me of a stubborn file on my desktop but to no luck, at least this program does not come bundled with the Delta Search Toolbar that comes with the Unlocker program that was alluded to at the end of the article.

  3. Drugoy said on November 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Yeah, thanks guys for the tip about LockHunter. Also I’ve just discovered USB Safely Remove on their site and it’s a nice tool too. Keeping both, uninstalling unlocker.

  4. ann said on November 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Hardly have any locked files problems on my personal PC, but on network share We encounter this regularly.
    But according to the description, running on you PC and having to add files & folder I suspect that this won’t help when others lock those files.

  5. PGJU said on November 28, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Yeah, so what is with the DeadLock file being identified as dangerous by Windows. Is it just because it is an MSI file? My Kaspersky has not flagged it.

    1. CodeDead said on December 1, 2015 at 12:48 am


      The software can be flagged as dangerous by Chrome or Windows because it’s not signed with a certificate (because those things are pretty expensive for a company that doesn’t really make any profit). All software and tools are free and open-source though so that’s a good thing right ?

      Kind regards

  6. Rick said on November 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I’m not sure what it mens, but when I clicked the link for DeadLock Webroot told me the website had a bad reputation so I ‘eft the site. Strange…

  7. PeterM said on November 28, 2015 at 4:38 am

    .NET 4.6 is required; DeadLock is not supported by XP.

    1. Peter said on November 28, 2015 at 6:25 am

      Yes, this is disappointing: .NET 4.6 is required

      1. Tom Hawack said on November 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        .NET is always bothering. My computer isn’t top-notch but it runs fine and rather fast common computer processes. Well, not really when it comes to applications requiring .NET Framework. Depends nevertheless, some come in quite fast, but others (such as ‘Simple DNSCrypt’ I’ve just installed and which targets .NET 4.5) take about 10 seconds to launch on cold start (recalling is faster). What I wonder is if .NET is a facility or are their schemes which could absolutely not be coded without .NET …

  8. war59312 said on November 27, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I prefer LockHunter @ http://lockhunter.com/ myself.

    Works great!

    1. Tom Hawack said on November 27, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      I use Lockhunter as well. No problems. Works nicely i.e. with the Webcache folder’s files when I consider that Windows has too much data blocked (another Microsoft shame discovered on Win7). Lockhunter and hop : history and cache files removed.

      1. clas said on November 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        thanks guys, looks like a great little program, lockhunter…

  9. Herman Sherman said on November 27, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Two words from the CodeDead page: Automatic updates.

    Their manual (page 13) says “. You can turn the automatic updates on or off, change the style of DeadLock, change the language,… . ”

    I’ve had good luck with Unlocker for years, so will stick with it. Didn’t know there were other unlockers.

  10. YB said on November 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I will try it out. Thanks for reviewing.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.