Remove or Rename or Modify Locked Files in Windows

You all might have seen that files or folders are locked in your computer to prevent its access from others. However, Windows doesn’t allow you to modify the files that open programs have locked. Upon trying to delete a file you are prompted that it’s open in a program, either you’ll have to unlock the file or close the program. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which program has locked a file, thereby making it difficult for the user to delete or modify it. Follow the tutorial to know how you can delete or modify the locked file in Windows.

remove or modify locked files folder

It may be the open program or the background process which might have locked a file or not terminated correctly. So, you need to unlock the stubborn file or folder in order to modify it or remove the file. Unlocking system files and deleting them can give rise to serious errors and problems with open programs. It is recommended not to unlock and delete files that are designed to remain locked, including the Windows system files.


Unlocker is a useful utility program that is used for unlocking files. Once you have installed the unlocker, right-click on a locked or stubborn file or folder and select Unlocker.


Now a list of processes appears that contains locked the file or folder. However you can kill the processes or quickly unlock the file while leaving the processes running.

unlocker unlock program

Once the file gets unlocked, you can delete, move, or rename or modify in a similar way as that in normal case.

Process Explorer

Process Explorer is another excellent Process Explorer task manager. To get started, first launch Process Explorer as Administrator.

  • To do so click on the file option in the task bar and select show details for All Processes
  • Next, click the Find menu and select Find Handle or DLL. Or you can directly launch by holding Ctrl+F

process explorer

  • Search for the name of the locked file or folder.
  • Now, select the locked file or folder and now you can see the handle in the details box located at the bottom of the Process Explorer window.
  • Next, right-click the handle and choose close Handle. For multiple processes, repeat this process to close the handle for each process.

Upon completion of the above steps you can delete or modify the file normally.


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