4 Proven Solutions to Force Delete a File or Folder


Summary: Through this article, we will take you through a couple of ways to force delete a file/folder on Windows 7/8/10 and recover accidentally deleted files using Bitwar Data Recovery Software.

Keeping your computer system well maintained, clean, and away from junk is a good practice. However, sometimes doing so can become painful due to numerous reasons which don’t let you take off junk files/folders by preventing deletion. Thus, in such cases, you need to work around some of the offtrack procedures so that you can delete unwanted files or folders from your computer system.

force delete a folder

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If you are facing such issues, then do not worry! This article will provide you with some of the best solutions to force delete a file/folder and helps keep your Windows 7/8/10 clean.

What Are the Possible Reasons Preventing a File or Folder to be Deleted?

Before we jump onto the solutions to force delete a file/folder, it is essential to know the reasons causing this issue.

  1. Malware and Viruses.
  2. Corrupted/Damaged system files.
  3. Trojans and Spywares.
  4. The file being used by another application.
  5. Files locked due to permissions etc.

Some of the Errors that Appear on Screen while Trying to Delete Locked or Undeletable Files

  1. There is a violation of sharing.
  2. The file being used by any other program/application.
  3. Corrupted file directory.
  4. The file cannot be deleted because of access denied.
  5. The source of the file or file destination is in use.

Different Ways to Force Delete a File or Folder

Solution 1: Command Prompt 

Command Prompt is an excellent way to permanently remove/delete undeletable/locked files from your system. However, you need to be very careful while executing the commands used in cmd.

Step 1: Go to cmd by pressing Windows+S and then right-click on Command Prompt/Powershell to choose Run as administrator option. After this, a cmd window will open.

Step 2: if you want to delete a single file, type command del /F C:\Users\Downloads\aaaa.exe. (Replace aaaa to the exact file name, and /F means force deleting of read-only files.)

del a file cmd

Step 3: If you wish to delete a folder/directory, type command rd /S C:\Users\Downloads. (Replace the directory as you need and /s means remove a directory tree).

delete a folder cmd

Step 4: Post writing the command press Enter to execute, this should help delete all files in the folder.

Solution 2: Reboot the System

In case the files or folders you want to delete are used by any program in the background then, in such cases when you shut your system down, the process gets stopped. So, reboot your system, after rebooting launch File Explorer to browse file or folder location and try deleting it. If it doesn’t work, use the Safe Mode to boot.

Steps to boot in Safe Mode

Step 1: Press Win logo key + R and then type: MSConfig.

Step 2: Now, turn to the Boot tab and then tick Safe Boot from the Boot Options section.

safe boot msconfig

Step 3: Once you click on the OK button, the system will ask you to restart the system.

After successfully booting into Safe Mode, launch File Explorer and try to delete unwanted files or folders.

Solution 3: Close the Associated Processes or Programs

This is a quick and straightforward method to delete a file that is in use by another program. If a program opens a file, all you need to do is to close that program and then delete a file or folder.

However, there can be a scenario that the program has a hidden process that might still be using a file or folder thus, even if none of the programs having the opened file, the Windows will still say that a program is using the file.

Step 1: Launch Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Del keys and navigate to the Processes tab.

Step 2: Search for a process linked with a program that can open a file or folder. The Description section helps locate the correct process. After finding the right process, select it, and then click the End Process to end it. See the example screenshot as below:

end task using task manager

Doing this should help you in deleting a file or folder.

Solution 4: Unlock the Files Are in Use and then Delete

The 3rd party free file unlocker software such as Unlocker is extremely easy-to-use and it can unlock the file is in use so that you can batch delete the files or folders without any hassle.

Step 1: Download the Unlocker by searching with this keyword: Unlocker 1.9.2 in Google.com

Step 2: Install it on your computer and then right-click on the file you need to force delete.


Step3: Hit on Unlocker, the Unlocker will send the file/folder directly to the Recycle Bin.

Recover Accidentally Deleted Files using Bitwar Data Recovery

What if you forced delete a file, photo, video or other wanted data using unlocker, you can get back the data by opening the Recycle Bin and right-click on the data, choose to Restore to move the data to the original place.

However, if you have deleted the data using CMD or shift+delete or emptied the Recycle Bin, then you’ll need the third-party data recovery software Bitwar Data Recovery to help retrieve the wanted documents, images, videos, audios or other important data.

Step 1: Download the Bitwar Data Recovery and then install it on your computer.

Download for PC Download for Mac

Step 2: Launch the software and then choose the Partition or drive where contains your lost files; after that, click on Next.

Step 3: Choose a recovery mode, e.g. Quick Scan, and then hit on Next.

Step 4: Select the File types you want to recovery, e.g. document and then hit on Scan.

Select Video 6.49

Step 5: Double-click on the data to preview it on the zoom-in window and then click on the Recover button as you need.

Force Delete Them!

It can be extremely frustrating when you want to delete some files or folders from your computer system but unable to do so. There are plenty of reasons causing this problem such as malware, virus, files being used by another program and access denial, etc.

Nevertheless, there are various kinds of solutions also to fix this concern as mentioned in this article. You may apply any of these methods to get rid of this issue and continue maintaining the cleanliness and space of your computer system.

In case when force deletes an important file or folder accidentally, don’t forget to go to the Recycle Bin and check whether the file exists there or you can use a free Bitwar Data Recovery Software to get back the lost and deleted data. It is extremely effective and easy to use. Highly recommended!

Read More

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  2. 9 Solutions to Fix Folder Disappeared Windows 10 Problem
  3. Fast Fix: Invalid Value for Registry when Opening Video & Image Files
  4. What to do When SD Card Not Full but Says Full? Check This out!
  5. Need to Recover Files Lost by Ctrl+Z? 3 Proven Ways Help You!

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  1. 5/5 For BITWAR! Had corrupted data so there wasn't a lot to do about it, looking around on how to recover files found this and it is that good that I had to leave a comment haha, really want to extend the recommendation for those who need to recover any data! Thank you bitwar!

  2. Loved the tutorial, very simple! I was just wondering, If this is the case, a program like CCleaner or Tuneup can do the job too? Or do I Need to follow the tutorial to change the file config? Thank you is a really useful tutorial, but I think I have too many useless and bugged files, so I was looking for a fast solution!

    • Hello, Jeremy, we can't figure out that CCleaner or Tuneup whether can do the job too as right now we didn't test them, if we do, we will certainly let you know about this, however, you can try the solutions mentioned already here in this article, I advice that you can try with the easiet one you like to get the problem fixed. Thank you.

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