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Dear Microsoft, Why can't I delete an empty folder on my desktop?

    Question

  • I have Win 7 x64 Ultimate and this problem is driving me crazy. Not on a domain, as it's my home PC. I'm the administrator. I constantly am greeted with "Folder in Use" error when trying to delete a folder regardless of location on my hard drives. Many of these folders are completely empty, including the thumbs.db file. Nothing is there. Yet I can't delete it, rename it, move it.

    What is the explanation for this? It's totally unacceptable, especially for an IT professional. We don't just accept these things. We have to investigate and investigate because it drives us up the wall. I've found lots of others with the same problem, yet no solutions.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:38 AM

Answers

All replies

  • This usually works for the ‘obstinate’ files/folders on the Desktop.

    1. Open an elevated Command Prompt by clicking the Windows Orb (Start) > All Programs > Accessories and right-click Command Prompt, then ‘Run as Administrator’. From the prompt, type CD %userprofile%\Desktop and press Enter, type dir /x and make a note of the short name (8.3 long), e.g. something like ABCDEF~1.LNK. Type del (followed by a space followed by the name) and press Enter. This should remove the file. If it does not, then keep the Command Prompt open and...

    2. Hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager. On the Processes Tab, select the explorer.exe process and end it to halt the desktop. Switch to the Command Prompt window and retry the del command.

    3. Now restart Explorer by going to the Application Tab of Task Manager > File > New Task. Enter explorer.exe and click OK to restart the desktop.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2:28 PM
  • Download and run Process Explorer [1], search for the Name of the folder (CTRL+F) and look which programs has an open handle on the folder. Close the handle and you can delete the folder.

    André

    [1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 3:12 PM
  • Download and run Process Explorer [1], search for the Name of the folder (CTRL+F) and look which programs has an open handle on the folder. Close the handle and you can delete the folder.

    André

    [1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    excellent tip. I found that my cloud backup utility has its hooks in these folders, the ones I've marked as needing to be watched for backup. Now I need to find out why that program keeps a lock on these files. Thanks.
    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:02 PM
  • ok, contact the creator of the tool and ask why the tool has open handles to folders.

    André


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:55 PM