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Cannot delete file - tried everything - file in use by Windows Explorer error

    Question

  • Hi - I have tried now for 2-3 hours trying to delete an .mkv file from my "Downloads" folder

    It says the file is in use by Windows Explorer and cannot be deleted

    I have tried deleting it using Del command prompt as me and as Administrator (I am the Admnistrator, there are no other users) - no luck

    I have tried Safe Boot and then deleting - no luck

    I have tried rebooting many times and then deleting - no luck

    Any ideas? It's driving me nuts
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:52 PM

Answers

  • Hi - I have tried now for 2-3 hours trying to delete an .mkv file from my "Downloads" folder

    It says the file is in use by Windows Explorer and cannot be deleted

    I have tried deleting it using Del command prompt as me and as Administrator (I am the Admnistrator, there are no other users) - no luck

    I have tried Safe Boot and then deleting - no luck

    I have tried rebooting many times and then deleting - no luck

    Any ideas? It's driving me nuts
    Okay, I managed to delete them from my laptop (not the PC) which is part of my Homegroup

    I could not delete them from my PC - that was very odd

    Weird

    at least they are gone now - but this was very strange indeed
    • Marked as answer by nebens Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:01 PM
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:01 PM

All replies

  • Hi - I have tried now for 2-3 hours trying to delete an .mkv file from my "Downloads" folder

    It says the file is in use by Windows Explorer and cannot be deleted

    I have tried deleting it using Del command prompt as me and as Administrator (I am the Admnistrator, there are no other users) - no luck

    I have tried Safe Boot and then deleting - no luck

    I have tried rebooting many times and then deleting - no luck

    Any ideas? It's driving me nuts
    Okay, I managed to delete them from my laptop (not the PC) which is part of my Homegroup

    I could not delete them from my PC - that was very odd

    Weird

    at least they are gone now - but this was very strange indeed
    • Marked as answer by nebens Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:01 PM
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:01 PM
  • Unlocker works on Windows 7 and can handle problems like this. You right click on the file and select Unlocker. If it can't unlock then delete the file it will schedule it to be deleted on next boot.

    Note: I just downloaded the latest 1.8.8 version and got a security popup from Windows Security Essentials. It's bogus. I had to allow the action then download it again as it had removed the file.

    It was complaining about a .exe that added a link to E-bay to your desktop if you allowed it.
    Rich
    Monday, November 30, 2009 3:56 PM
  • I have 3 copies of a certain MKV file, (just from trying to move lots of files from folder to folder) and then I realised I can't delete any of them, its the same file with three replica's and I was just wondering how you managed to delete it in the end? because It really is winding me up, they must have been there for 2-3 months now ): unlocker won't work on my windows 7 and I dont know why either.
    Sunday, March 07, 2010 1:14 AM
  • Had the MKV issue happen to me tonight. Unlocker will not work in Windows 7 64 bit, but LockHunter will and it deleted the files.

    • Proposed as answer by PerpT Tuesday, March 05, 2013 11:05 PM
    Monday, March 08, 2010 6:32 AM
  • Thank you for the tip about LockHunter. Seems to work a lot like Unlocker and it works with Win 7 X64 as you said.

    I believe Unlocker works with Win 7 X86 but now I'm not even sure about that. Will check it out tomorrow.

    Rich Why can't I be different and original like everybody else? - Vivian Stanshal
    Thursday, March 11, 2010 1:05 AM
  • Had the MKV issue happen to me tonight. Unlocker will not work in Windows 7 64 bit, but LockHunter will and it deleted the files.


    I tried deleting an .mkv file, and like BigPimpinAZ I have Windows 7 64 bit system.  I get the message that the file can not be found using lockhunter.  Is there any more suggestions?  I have tried everything.  Nothing seems to work with this file.  I just want it off my computer.

    MS Beta Butterfly
    Tuesday, May 04, 2010 12:01 AM
  • i am having a similar issue with a lot of .mkv files. im just curious as to what the status of your problem is now. Were you able to delete/move the files without getting the windows explorer error?
    Sunday, August 01, 2010 12:57 AM
  • Hi,

      I have been having the same issue!!

    The problem seems to be:

    The MKV file is a container and can hold lots of different types of files, Video and audio,etc.

    If you open the container, the internal files open and when the files are closed

    explorer doesn't close the container file. (M$ were never any good at simple file handling)

    So if you try to delete the file you get the:

    "file is in use and cannot be deleted".

    Sometimes you can use 'Lockhunter' or similar to delete the file, but it doesn,t always work!!

    I think (but I haven't tried it yet?) if you boot the machine from a "Live Windows 7 CD/DVD"

    and delete the .MKV file from that, it should work every time. Bit of a 'Elephant to crack a

    Walnut', but if nothing else works, then what the heck!!

    Hope this helps?

    Dayman

     

    Monday, August 16, 2010 9:00 PM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes


    • Proposed as answer by zmtun Thursday, June 30, 2011 3:18 AM
    Monday, November 01, 2010 10:10 PM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes



    This worked a treat, thanks very much for your help.
    Wednesday, November 03, 2010 6:49 PM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes



    Instead of running a CMD prompt and typing everything, just start up Winrar or Winzip, kill Explorer, then delete problem MKV files to your hearts content within Winrar or Winzip.

    Winrar and Winzip will navigate your folders as well.

    After you are done, create a new Explorer task.

     

    --------------

     

    or.....   if you need to rename MKV files, just rename them within Winrar/Winzip with Explorer not running.

    I change the MKV extension to AVI (in Winrar with Explorer killed) in order to avoid Explorer issues, if I ever want to move the files in the future without needing to kill Explorer all the time to do so .
    • Proposed as answer by Badfish425 Wednesday, January 09, 2013 1:53 AM
    Friday, December 31, 2010 5:17 AM
  • Hey I had a similar problem with my PC turns out its a file association problem i had to remove the program divx and that seemed to clear up the problem now i can delete or move all mkv file that were problems before there may be a similar codec problem with your pc safest option is just to remove all video players/codecs and just use vlc player... hope this helps!!
    Monday, January 10, 2011 12:27 AM
  • I have surfing thru the forums for a solution but using winrar to delete files are the most efficient! At least for my case! Thks alot! You save my day....Cheers!

    Saturday, January 15, 2011 9:13 AM
  • You can even get the message that you cannot delete the file because it is open in winrar. In such a case, kill all applications which result in an error message, such as explorer, thunderbird, winrar... Then delete the file in command window...

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:35 AM
  • My solution was to turn off thumbnailing in folder options of control panel. Now I can move, delete and rename. Turned out it was MKV's using the H.264 video codec, Explorer was trying to thumbnail them... MKV's using the microsoft VC1 codec did not have problems thumbnailing surprise surprise...
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:42 PM
  • thanks for the tip

    it worked!!

    the files have been driving me crazy

    Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:23 PM
  • This is indeed very helpful coz' i have tried all sorts of means to delete it but it doesnt work

    With this software it works super super fast not to mention downloading the software are also fast

    Thank you very very much for your advise and link file

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:15 PM
  • Try this it works for my PC : Open a new cmd shell. Run task manager. Delete the file or folder using del command in cmd. Multiple file.Folders can be deleted using this method ( by giving <space> between each file name> Files/Folders are deleted. Now type explorer in your cmd shell. And then enjoy.. Any ques u cn contact me on nachiketburade1@gmail.com
    Monday, March 14, 2011 2:31 AM
  • Try this it works for my PC :

    Open a new cmd shell.

    Run task manager.

    Delete the file or folder using del command in cmd.

    Multiple file/Folders can be deleted using this method ( by giving <space> between each file name>

    Files/Folders are deleted.

    Now type explorer in your cmd shell.

    And then enjoy..

    Any ques u cn contact me on nachiketburade1@gmail.com

    Monday, March 14, 2011 2:34 AM
  • Thanks so much! worked for me... 

    Just to add a bit, you can also restart the explorer after you're done deleting the file, from the cmd window itself (instead of going to the task manager). Just type "explorer" on command prompt. The explorer will start from whichever directory you are in.

     

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011 7:58 PM
  • Thanks for the heads-up; tried it out and worked perfectly. Some advice to others who have the same problem: don't try to 'unlock' the file and then delete it manually, do it through the 'delete' function of LockHunter. Problem solved and thanks again!
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 10:35 AM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes


    Thank you,thank you,thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SO much m(__)m !!
    Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:50 AM
  • Thanks for the tip.  Lockhunter solved this problem for me.
    Saturday, May 07, 2011 12:05 AM
  • Thanks buddy you are a legend I had two of these issues in different file locations

    all sorted know 

     

    much respect

    _________________

    Asif Awan

    Saturday, May 07, 2011 9:22 PM
  • Thanks very must for this it work.
    Monday, June 06, 2011 5:37 AM
  • thaaaaaanks maaaan. this really works with winrar. greattt. teh best and teh easiest option. u rename n change to .avi format then u can do whtever u want with file. thxxx thxxx thxxx
    Monday, June 06, 2011 1:08 PM
  • in my case , can delete all .mkv files that cannot delete before.

    but cann't delete individual files.

    delete the whole folder

    del foldername

    then delete all files in the folder.

     

    thank u, itay ari

    Thursday, June 30, 2011 3:20 AM
  • Guess what it was in my case? Outlook! I terminated outlook, and could move or delete ANY .mkv file right away (Office 2010)
    Sunday, July 03, 2011 12:23 PM

  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes


    OMG thanks so much buddy. I've had this problem for a while now with some MKV files I downloaded, they wouldn't delete no matter what I tried, restarting, safe mode etc etc.

    This is the safest and easiest way to resolve the problem. No need to download any dodgy software with annoying toolbars and malware etc. Simple and effective.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:46 AM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes



    Instead of running a CMD prompt and typing everything, just start up Winrar or Winzip, kill Explorer, then delete problem MKV files to your hearts content within Winrar or Winzip.

    Winrar and Winzip will navigate your folders as well.

    After you are done, create a new Explorer task.

     

    --------------

     

    or.....   if you need to rename MKV files, just rename them within Winrar/Winzip with Explorer not running.

    I change the MKV extension to AVI (in Winrar with Explorer killed) in order to avoid Explorer issues, if I ever want to move the files in the future without needing to kill Explorer all the time to do so .
    Huge thanks I was having this issue and my mkv files are finally gone!!!!! Yay, thanks for this info!
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:01 AM
  • Woo hoo! Thank you thank you. This worked
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:57 AM
  • Thanks for the lockhunter file it worked I had this mkv file that i could not delete but finally tonight i got rid of it
    Friday, August 19, 2011 9:24 PM
  • Many thanks itay ari. These .mkv files and .tb folders were driving me crazy. None of the utilities worked on my desktop (win 7 64-bit). Now they are all gone :)
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:19 AM
  • thnx for that. Lockhunter got rid of 14 files that have been bugging me.
    Thursday, September 08, 2011 6:47 AM
  • Seriously... I am near tears with gratitude!!! I have WIN7 64 Bit, and LOCKHUNTER blew it right out of existence. Thank you... A LOT!

    I will NEVER D/L an .mkv file again!

    Saturday, October 01, 2011 12:41 PM
  • forget Unlocker it DOES NOT work on Win 7 64 but your solution Lockhunter...worked in 2 minutes
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 1:37 PM
  • Not Lockhunter works, not any program, commands nor anything works. There's a dll from FlashGet crap (v1.80) that doesn't get deleted in the uninstall. It's "fgmgr.dll". Trying to delete it normally doesn't work, Windows just states it's in use by a random open service (from drivers, to antivirus, anything). Close the program it says, try to delete again and the same. It goes with another, and like that with all open services. You can rename the file or move it around (always in the same disk) but nothing else. None of the programs or methods above work. Ideas? There's nothing that can delete it? The file is useless, I don't know what FlashGet did to make that file in that status. It would be nice if MS included an administrative tool or whatever in a future Windows (maybe for Windows 14? ::rolleyes::) to be able to delete any file, whatever it's status and whatever consequences it may have on open services (in this case none, my video driver doesn't need a stubborn dll from FlashGet to run). It's not malware, at least Avast doesn't detect it that way. It just seems to be a dll with priorities higher than the OS itself. It's not the first time I stumbled upon a file like this (as far as I remember it was always with dll's) and this happens since Win 95 at least. But it's the first time I cared enough to write all this :P. The "file in use" when trying to delete is as old as dinosaurs. Is it THAT hard for the OS to reserve the rights to delete or modify any file whatever might happen? It's the fu**ing OS, no program, service nor anything should be above it <_<

    Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:10 AM
  • hey guys, i have had the same problem.

    i couldnt delete the .mkv files via Explorer.exe

    i couldnt delete the .mkv files via CMD

    i couldnt delete the .mkv files via File Assassin

    i couldnt delete the .mkv files via Unlocker

    and many more, if i closed windows explorer there was a problem with another program, so here is what i did

     

    1. turn of thumbnails in folder options.

    2. Open Malwarebytes

    3. Close explorer.exe

    4. delete the files using file assassin

    5. reopen explorer.exe

    6. turn on thumbnails (optional)

    and you are done.

     

    hope it helps you, it did the trick for me. 

    Sunday, November 06, 2011 9:56 AM
  • Thx for all the info but none of it worked. Still have MKV. Tried "Unlocker" nada. "File Assassin" says cannot delete. I have Sys. Mech. it says it deleted the file but it's still there. I can't incinerate it, rename it, nothing. I just deleted an MKV yesterday so this is starting to freak me out a bit. The error says it's open in Explorer. Why would Explorer be a video file issue? It's the "Military Industrial Complex." Isn't it?

    Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:08 AM
  • thank you !!!  it worked for me.   i could delete the .mkv file.  

     

    thanks

    cheers

    Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:03 PM
  • Hi,

    Nothing worked, then I had a brainstorm...

    I use a program to enable me to mount ISO files (magicdisk), and even though I had closed it's process in windows and stripped everything to the bone, I had previously (about a month ago) mounted it. There was no risidual indication that it was mounted (e.g. A drive letter for starters!) BUT somehow it was flagged as mounted somewhere. I ran magicdisk again as a last resort, and sure enough there it was, available to unmount (even though it was not technically mounted and I couldn;t see it anywhere).

     

    This is just another thing to try and I logged in specially to post it as I was nearly ready for throwing the computer out the window after FIVE hours on this! I didn't believe it was possible to get so angry at a machine, and I am a programmer with 20+ years of experience - you live and learn ;)

    Hope this helps someone!

    Kevin

     

    • Proposed as answer by Tentimes Sunday, December 04, 2011 12:00 AM
    Saturday, December 03, 2011 11:59 PM
  • Having experienced the same problem with being unable to delete, move or rename .MKV files, and in many cases Windows Explorer would crash when you just selected the .MKV file, I went and tried the various suggestions to delete the files or eliminate the thumbs issue, and found that many of them worked.  

    But the UNDERLYING cause of the problem, for me at least, was the latest version of DIV/X that I had installed recently.  Apparently DIV/X causes problems with the Thumb nail images and size/length of MKV formats, and your system gets hung. |

    As I usually use VLC media player now, but had downloaded DIV/X to try it for a change, I followed the advice above, and uninstalled DIV/X -  
    The Problem was solved IMMEDIATELY.     

    I can now move, delete, rename .MKV files again.    

     

    If you have this problem I suggest (as mentioned above) that you try uninstalling DIV/X and see if the problem goes away immediately after you reboot your machine.  It certainly did for me.  If that doesnt fix it, you can always reinstall DivX again (I am NOT going to do that until this issue is proven to be fixed by DivX).

    For the more technically minded, you can achieve the same result by deleting the DIV/X Codecs, without total uninstall. 

     

    good luck. 

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 3:52 AM
  •  TQ TQ TQ ,,,,,, Its work for me
    Thursday, February 02, 2012 5:09 PM
  • If my .mkv files lock up, i open task manager and end the divx auto-updater process and i regain control of my files
    Monday, February 13, 2012 1:52 PM
  • Run this command line script and it should detele it.
    *.mkv files are associated with media codecs...in addition I'm assuming you can't delete it because it's being used by another application which is "explorer.exe"

    step 1:  open "notepad.exe"
    type the commands below, except change the file path  that you want to delete it (edit the del command line by modifying your file path):

    ---------------------
    taskkill -f - im explorer.exe
    del C:\Users\hello\Downloads\movie.mkv
    start explorer.exe

    ------------------
    step 2: Click - File >Save As...           

             a.     File name: deletemkv.bat
             b.     Select > Save as type > (All Files*.*)
             c.     Click- SAVE

    Step 3:    Run deletemkv.bat as administrator

    Check if the .mkv file was deleted.

    • Proposed as answer by ArtanFtyra Monday, February 20, 2012 9:53 PM
    Monday, February 20, 2012 9:51 PM
  • It worked for me. Thanks a ton buddy..
    • Proposed as answer by PaulieEire Wednesday, April 04, 2012 1:42 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by PaulieEire Wednesday, April 04, 2012 1:44 PM
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:04 PM
  • Its working....thanks my friend....|I deleted the file from my external HDD as per the above instructions.... I tried to delete the mkv file so many times and so many ways, nothing works. But this cmd prompt and explorer end process.... works well

    Sunday, April 29, 2012 7:19 AM
  • Hi,

      I have been having the same issue!!

    The problem seems to be:

    The MKV file is a container and can hold lots of different types of files, Video and audio,etc.

    If you open the container, the internal files open and when the files are closed

    explorer doesn't close the container file. (M$ were never any good at simple file handling)

    So if you try to delete the file you get the:

    "file is in use and cannot be deleted".

    Sometimes you can use 'Lockhunter' or similar to delete the file, but it doesn,t always work!!

    I think (but I haven't tried it yet?) if you boot the machine from a "Live Windows 7 CD/DVD"

    and delete the .MKV file from that, it should work every time. Bit of a 'Elephant to crack a

    Walnut', but if nothing else works, then what the heck!!

    Hope this helps?

    Dayman

     



    Lockhunter worked like a dream to allow me to delete this .mkv file I have been trying to delete.
    • Edited by tlnesbit Sunday, April 29, 2012 2:25 PM
    Sunday, April 29, 2012 2:24 PM
  • Sysinternals Suite has a few tools that may shed light on this issue
    http://sysinternals.com or http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sysinternals

    I recommend downloading the full suite http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062

    Look at the "Handle" tool and Process Explorer then kill the process thats open or holding the handle to your file or use one of the other PsTools.

    "Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Handle is a utility that displays information about open handles for any process in the system. You can use it to see the programs that have a file open, or to see the object types and names of all the handles of a program."

    Other apps in the tool set to look at: *Process Explorer, Process Monitor, *PsKill, PsList, PsSuspend filemon, regmon. The full tool set is valuable at many levels.

    After extracting Sysinternals zipfile navigate to the program directory. They issue the command

    name

    This parameter is present so that you can direct Handle to search for references to an object with a particular name.
    For example, if you wanted to know which process (if any) has "c:\windows\system32" open you could type:

    handle windows\system

    Try handle E:\folder name to see what's is holding open your file.

    Monday, May 14, 2012 8:32 PM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes


    It works!!!

    Thank You very much!

    • Proposed as answer by Intimus Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:24 PM
    Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:22 PM
  • Months of agony ends and you are the healer, my friend!

    I can't thank you enough for your easy to follow advice that actually worked!!

    Thanks a lot, God Bless You.

    mkv files should come with a warning, huh!!

    Saturday, June 16, 2012 5:24 AM
  • You sir are a steely eyed windows guru, was bugging me for ages, tried cmd but had same problem until you suggested shutting explorer, works great, thank you

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012 3:49 PM
  • I tried with lockhunter by it didn't work.it could not delete the file.
    Saturday, July 28, 2012 8:42 PM
  • I tried to delete a .iso file like you said, but with no success.
    Saturday, July 28, 2012 8:43 PM
  • Worked for me - many thanks!
    Friday, August 10, 2012 4:38 PM
  • Usually, in cases such as this I've found I have to manually delete the items in the folder first. In some cases I've had to move files to a temporary folder so I could delete the folder and then delete the file in the temporary folder. Sort of a convoluted way to get around it.

     Cannot Delete File helped me in this situation.

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:48 AM
  • Usually, in cases such as this I've found I have to manually delete the items in the folder first. In some cases I've had to move files to a temporary folder so I could delete the folder and then delete the file in the temporary folder. Sort of a convoluted way to get around it.

     Cannot Delete File helped me in this situation.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:49 AM
  • Thanks a lot... I can able to delete that mkv file.. It was there more than a year... Thank you..
    Friday, September 28, 2012 9:38 AM
  • I use "Long Path Tool" in this situation and it helps me well.
    Thursday, October 04, 2012 3:45 PM
  • Cannot believe how bad Windows 7 is.

    I cannot even delete a file.

    All I.O. is much slower than XP.

    And the prompts when overwriting obviously were not written by someone who's first language is English.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012 8:44 PM
  • Had the MKV issue happen to me tonight. Unlocker will not work in Windows 7 64 bit, but LockHunter will and it deleted the files.

    Awesome, Thank you. I installed LockHunter and select the folder that contains the files which wouldn't delete due to being in use by explorer.exe for some strange reason but there gone now. Make sure you back any files which you might want to CD/DVD as even if you rename or copy the files explorer might grab the files again and the process will happen again. Well that's what happened to me.

    Thanks again.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 5:01 AM
  • It's simple...UNINSTALL DivX.

    There is a specific DivX registry item that causes the conflict.

    This is pretty much the only thing that will fix the problem.

    I've had this problem for months, with various MKV files all over my computer.

    I uninstalled DivX, and I was instantly free to rename, move, and delete my MKV files. 

    All the advice I found online was long and complicated (and technical), which scared and confused me (I didn't want to screw up my computer), and from the responses, didn't work anyway.  This will work.  I promise you.

    Use the VLC media player instead...pretty sure it's free, and it's easier to use.

    • Proposed as answer by CMinLA Saturday, November 10, 2012 8:58 PM
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 8:54 PM
  • Entirely agree with CMinLA, Uninstall DivX. Simple and fixes the problem.
    Friday, December 14, 2012 9:04 AM
  • I just tried deleting my .mkv file through WinRAR and it worked immediately! I know this post is dated, but thanks so much for the advice:)  
    Wednesday, January 09, 2013 1:58 AM
  • Thanks a million - LockHunter worked for me. I suggested they add a "Paypal donate" feature to their website, as I'd happily throw them a few bucks for fixing this annoying issue for me. :)

    Thanks, BigPimpinAZ
    Tuesday, March 05, 2013 11:06 PM
  • Solution:
    1) Open command prompt

    2) Go to the folder where the file is located (use command cd foldername to enter in to a folder and cd// to come out of a folder) and type del filename.mkv don’t press ENTER .

    3) Open windows task manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) and go to processes tab and locate explorer.exe , right click on it od select end process (not end process tree). don’t close the task manager .

    4) Go back to command prompt and press enter. Now the file is deleted.

    5) Go to task manager again and select file>New Task and type explorer.exe and press ok .
    Thursday, March 14, 2013 4:06 AM
  • As stated in previous accolades about "Lockhunter" what a breath of freshness, a program that does work and is not cluttered with spam ware when installing it. I used it on all MKV files with great success! Cudos to "Lockhunter"
    • Proposed as answer by UBU45 Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:47 PM
    • Edited by UBU45 Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:48 PM
    Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:46 PM
  • my problem too got solved..!!!!thanx

    Friday, June 28, 2013 6:31 AM
  • I use an alternative "LongPathTool" a guaranteed fix for error problems like "cannot delete file".
    Friday, July 26, 2013 6:30 PM
  • this worked perfectly! thanks!
    Friday, August 02, 2013 7:42 PM
  • Long path tool is a piece of junk.  First thing they ask for before renaming or deleting is please buy full version.

    Skip all of the issues and just use Lockhunter.

    After trying several of the steps above that wouldn't work for me (and getting even more frustrated), Lockhunter worked within seconds.

    Sunday, August 25, 2013 3:45 AM
  • Thanks a lot. That worked for me too.
    Monday, September 02, 2013 12:57 PM
  • Another software alternative that works is "LongPathTool" for error messages: Cannot read from source file or disk, there has been a sharing violation, cannot delete file or folder, the file name you specified is not valid or too long, the source or destination file may be in use and many other file managing errors.
    Thursday, September 05, 2013 6:11 PM
  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...

    Thursday, December 26, 2013 2:49 PM
  • HELP ME ANYONE IM ON WINDOWS 8 AND I DOWNLOADE PAINT.NET AND IT JUST RANDOMLY DOWNLOADED PC BACKUP I HAVE USED CMD LOCKHUNTER UNLOCKER IVE TRIED EVERYTHING I DELETE SOME OF THE FILES BUT THE REST I CANT DELETED AND WHEN I TRY TO UNINSTALL IT IS SAYS IT IS ALREADY UNINSTALLED?? WHEN I USED UNLOCKER IT SAID ERROR COULDNT DELETE FOLDER WHAT THE FUCK MAN IVE HAD THIS FOR THE UPCOMING 3-4 YEARS GOD HELP ME OUT PLEASE

    • Proposed as answer by GeekStar68 Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:56 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by GeekStar68 Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:56 AM
    • Proposed as answer by GeekStar68 Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:56 AM
    Wednesday, January 01, 2014 3:19 AM
  • Had the MKV issue happen to me tonight. Unlocker will not work in Windows 7 64 bit, but LockHunter will and it deleted the files.
    

    Mucho Gracias,  After dealing with trying to remove Office 2010 files from my W764bit Pro for about three hours, lockhunter worked in less than 5 minutes. I shalll defiantly add this to my tool chest... Keep Pimpin!!!

    Win7Pro-64bit


    • Edited by GeekStar68 Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:53 AM additive
    • Proposed as answer by GeekStar68 Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:55 AM
    Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:42 AM
  • I hope I'm understanding you correctly. You have some malware issues?  If yes, TRY  SUPERANTISPYWARE..
    Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:56 AM
  • hi to all who have this bug- "file in use by Windows Explorer error"

    this is the only way that it works:

    1.type cmd in search box

    2.go to the drive and the directory the file is in ,for example:

    after you type cmd you have a black screen with c:\user\

    type in the drive the file is in and hit enter example - d: than hit enter

    than you should see d:\>

    now click the directory the problem file is in ,for example i will call the directory "movies"  type in this-   cd movies

    now you will see this d:\movies>

    to delete the file type this:  del filename.mkv (dont forget the .mkv or any other file extension) don't hit enter yet, first open task manager (cntrl+shift+esc) go to process tab than right click on explorer.exe choose and click on end process now your desktop should disappear. get back to the "cmd" window and hit enter.

    now the file is deleted. now go back to the task manager and click on "file" on the upper left corner then on new task then type in "explorer.exe"

    and you are done

    please note that the file name you choose to delete cant be with spaces between the letters .if so you will need to change it in the same way in the cmd window only the comand will be instead of "del filename.mkv"(for example) after you are in the right drive and directory:

    rename "test space.mkv" testspace.mkv

    hope i helped

    this is the only way it workes



    Instead of running a CMD prompt and typing everything, just start up Winrar or Winzip, kill Explorer, then delete problem MKV files to your hearts content within Winrar or Winzip.

    Winrar and Winzip will navigate your folders as well.

    After you are done, create a new Explorer task.

     

    --------------

     

    or.....   if you need to rename MKV files, just rename them within Winrar/Winzip with Explorer not running.

    I change the MKV extension to AVI (in Winrar with Explorer killed) in order to avoid Explorer issues, if I ever want to move the files in the future without needing to kill Explorer all the time to do so .
    Using WinRAR works for me. Using the cmd function becomes complicated when I cannot rename my file with the rename command".
    Saturday, February 01, 2014 6:22 PM
  • i had the same problem but solved....try "unlocker" this utility tool can make difference....it worked for me i used unlocker 1.9.x

    Thursday, February 06, 2014 1:28 AM
  • Hi,

    Long path tool can help on this situation. You can find it from google.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:32 AM
  • THANK YOU! I'm not technical minded, and I tried all the other ideas, deleting divx was the only one that worked. Thanks heaps!
    Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:58 AM
  • Hi, this problem has been driving me crazy as I had a mkv file on my desktop I could not get rid of. I am running Windows 7, 64 bit and I downloaded Unlocker and it worked!! Not big on instruction but if you read the Readme file it explains what to do - VERY EASY!! So nice to have that file gone!!So thank you to Rich who posted in 2009 - it works!
    Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:13 PM
  • Excelent! It was the only way I could delete the file. Thanks, zmtun.
    Friday, February 21, 2014 4:48 PM
  • Long path tool can helpful on this situation. thanks
    Monday, March 10, 2014 7:01 AM
  • Leave the box up that says you cannot delete the file because its in use by another file and just go into another folder inside windows explorer, once you are out of the file associated with the one you are trying to delete hit TRY AGAIN and it should take care of it.
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:31 AM
  • The same thing happened to me today with a set of MKV files.  Whatever program I used to delete the file seemed to put a lock on the file.  I also wasn't able to use the command line because the file was on an external eSATA drive (maybe part of the problem).  In the end I had to use a combination of Unlocker and PeaZip to delete them.

    I'm never letting another MKV file on my hard drive again!

    Sunday, March 30, 2014 6:03 AM
  • Okay I had the same problem with an MKV file. When I would try and delete that file it said it was open in another program or open in windows explorer blah, blah, blah. It's actually an easy fix. What you have to do is open the properties of each of your media players (VLC, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie maker... ALL of them...etc, etc.) go to the security tab and edit permissions to "deny" by checking all the blocks under deny. click apply and then close. Once you do that with ALL of your media players the MKV file can now be deleted as it no longer has permission to run on your computer. Once you delete that MKV file then go back into your media player(s) and re-allow permissions again by unchecking the deny blocks and you are back in business! Easy...no downloading other crap to fix it.  
    Sunday, April 13, 2014 10:12 PM