4 Proven Solutions to Force Delete a File/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 remove/delete unwanted files/folders from your computer system.

force delete a folder

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If you are facing such issues, then do not worry! As 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/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/undeletable files

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

Different ways to force delete a file/folder

Solution 1: Use Command Prompt to force delete a file/folder

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”.

Step1: 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.

Step2: 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

Step3: 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

Step4: Post writing the command press Enter to execute, this should help delete all files in folder.

Solution 2: Reboot the system to force delete a file/folder

In case the files/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/folder location and try deleting it. If it doesn’t work, use “Safe Mode” to boot.

Steps to boot in Safe Mode

Step1: Press Win logo key + R and then type: MSConfig.

Step2: Now, turn to Boot tab and then tick Safe Boot from Boot Options section.

safe boot msconfig

Step3: 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/folders.

Solution 3: Force Delete a file/folder by closing the associated processes/programs

This is a quick and straightforward method to delete a file which 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/folder. However, there can be a scenario that the program has a hidden process which might still be using a file/folder thus, even if none of the programs having the opened file, the Windows will still say that a program is using the file.

Step1: Launch Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Del keys and navigate to the Processe tab.

Step2: Now, search for a process linked with a program that can open a file/folder. The Description section helps locate the correct process. After finding the right process, select it and then click 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/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/folders without any hassle.

Step1: Download the Unlocker by searching with this keyword: Unlocker 1.9.2 in Google.com

Step2: 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.

How to 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.

Step1: Download the Bitwar Data Recovery from the official website: https://www.r-datarecovery.com and then install it on your computer.

Download for PCDownload for Mac

Step2: Launch the software and then choose the partition or drive where contains your lost files; after that, click on Next.

Select the drive 6.49

Step3: Now, choose a recovery mode, e.g. Quick Scan and then hit on Next.

Select a scan mode 6.49

Step4: Select the files types you want to recovery, e.g. document and then hit on Scan.

Select Video 6.49

Step5: Double-click on the data to preview it on the zoom-in window and then click on the Recover button as you need.

Video Preview


It can be extremely frustrating when you want to delete some file/folder 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/deleted data. It is extremely effective and easy to use. Highly recommended!

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