locked
Windows Explorer renaming and deleiting Annoyance!!!!

    Question

  • Okay, I am getting aggravated here... I'm simply trying to sort through my files, particular pictures that I am trying to sort into folders and such by date and event or whatever it is.... but let's say I delete a folder.... it will tell me that access is denied, thumbs.db is still in use.... to solve that, I have to open another folder, or click on an image, then go back to the folder I want to delete, and delete it. That's annoying.

    Annoyance #2: Renaming (this is all over the network) here's what I do:

    1. Open randomly named folder to check content.
    2. Go back up one folder level to rename the folder according to content.
    3. ERROR!!! Folder is in use by another program, please try again (WTF?)
    4. Try opening another folder and then going back again to rename originally wanted folder... sometimes it works.
    5. Wait 5-10 minutes before renaming.

    Seriously this is ridiculous!!

    Okay... no wait!! I just tried to rename a folder without even going into the folder....ERROR!! "The action can't be completed because teh folder or a file in it is open in another program. Close the folder or file and try again."

    I didn't even open the bloody folder so what's that all about? There's no possible way for it to be "open" by another program!!!

    I'm betting it's the thumbnail system or something.... files and folders should be allowed to be renamed right away without waiting for explorer to cache thumbnails or whatever it is preventing me to rename. It's very aggravating when you have large amounts of files to organize.
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:06 PM

Answers

  • Chances are that you're only experiencing this with folders that contain content that generates thumbnails (photos and the like). A lot of people have speculated that this is to do with indexing (which I'm not going to try to dispute), but in my experience this is usually down to thumbnail generation.

    For example, in the bottom left-hand corner of your explorer window, if you select your problem-folder you should see the folder icon show a preview of the contents. It's kind of a nice addition to the GUI, but seems to be directly related to the problem.

    Turn this off by going to ORGANIZE > FOLDER AND SEARCH OPTIONS > VIEW (tab) ... and then tick "Always show icons, never thumbnails". Click Apply/OK and you're done.

    Try renaming that folder now. Do it several times in quick succession and hopefully you'll find that the folder renaming issue is gone.
    Monday, August 15, 2011 6:29 PM

All replies

  • Same issues here with Win7 7100 64bit version - Trying to Rename Folders, one of which is seriously driving me nuts. My 8th attempt it still wont let me change, even after a power down and complete restart. The folder is in Use (Must be some Extraterrestrial hacking me) cause it aint Open on my network.
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:14 AM
  • I concur, this is seriously aggravating. It tells me more often than not that the file/picture is open and in use even though i was able to delete pictures effortlessly in the Beta version. (32bit both)

    Whats more fun is that Unlocker apparently cant even find any handles on the file that prevent it from being deleted.


    From what i can tell is that this happens more often with corrupted pictures, if this is of any use to you.
    Monday, June 01, 2009 7:09 PM
  • In my experience Unlocker can at least delete the file or folder in question, but we really shouldn't even be
    having this conversation. I fully agree, this is way to aggravating. I really hope they sort this issue by the time
    Win7 goes retail, because if there's one thing that will stop me from buying Win7, it's this.
    Friday, June 05, 2009 2:08 PM
  • Yes I agree with all of you, they seriously need to work on the file managing in the OS. This problem, the ridiculously slow file copying, sometimes it seems like it's spending more time calculation how much time it's going to take to copy instead of just copying it... just copy the stupid things... I know PC world suggested some third party file copiers, but really Microsoft, we shouldn't have to use third party for simple file copying,,,

    As for the problem I've originally stated, I think it might have something to do with indexing or caching of thumbnails... like it's trying to index or cache thumbnails, thus "locking" the folder.... maybe I should try disabling one or the other or both and see what happens.... I hope Microsoft sees this post and does something with it...
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:50 AM
  • yeah..i had same trouble with that, but only in particular file, ex: video. i can't copy, move or delete a file (*.flv). When i do that, win7 say that i'm not administrator, try agai, try again ................. then he say file are used by other program. Which one?! i do not open or any program active or use that file


    i'm using RC 7100
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:04 AM
  • Needless to say, this sucks... a lot. What you want to do, to solve the problem, is to disable the folder thumbnails. Try this guide, good luck!
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:00 AM
  • I am having the same problem. Trying to rename some mp3 folders in Windows 7 64-bit (latest updates) and constantly get 'Folder In Use' dialog box. I have no other programs running.
    Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:34 PM
  • Windows 7  PROBLEM.  This and similar posts relating to deleting, renaming, moving files  indicates that this is one big DRAWBACK to the use of Windows 7.   The good people of MSFT have kindly posted complicated work-arounds that may or may not work, but they have failed to acknowledge that this negative situation was not with us with

    Windows XP.

     

    I would like to have MSFT acknowledge the problem and tell us that a fix will be coming.  

     

    Aaron in N. Hollywood

    Sunday, April 11, 2010 1:52 AM
  • "Folder In Use. The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program". Temporary impossibility to copy - move - rename, etc. *media files* in Windows 7.

    A workaround: Choose any other media file and press "copy". No need to paste anywhere. The file which was initially locked is now unlocked and can be copied, moved, renamed, etc.

    Still, very annoying. I don't understand how MSFT can ignore this issue for so long.

    bill@billspictures.net

    Friday, April 30, 2010 10:07 PM
  • I may have been too optimistic on this one. The workaround often works, but not always.

    May this be linked to iTunes?

    bill@billspictures.net

     

    Friday, April 30, 2010 10:35 PM
  • Saturday, May 01, 2010 5:20 AM
    Moderator
  • Tku Carey. This is installed and my system is perfectly updated. Windows 7 Home Premium Version 6.1 build 7600. The Folder In Use issue is not resolved.

    The link to iTunes i mentioned is far fetched as the issue persists even with iTunes closed.

    www.billspictures.net

     

    Sunday, May 02, 2010 8:34 AM
  • We've been having similar problems in our organization and have determined the problem might be related to Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat provides plug-ins to most Office applications and the Acrobat processes don't always stop when you close an Office document.  We've discovered that whenever a person reports this problem we can go into Task Manager and kill all "Adobe Acrobat" processes, then rename the folder just fine.  Can others confirm whether or not Adobe Acrobat exists in your environment when you experience these problems?

    We've also learned that having both Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat on a system can cause problems.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 5:07 PM
  • Having continued to work on this, I find that a number of actions (in the above case killing Adobe processes, but also simply copying, pasting and deleting media files in other folders) function as a workaround to this annoying issue. One gets the impression, that the problem is linked to the respective application (Adobe, iTunes, media files), but in fact I do not believe this is actually the case. I am surprised though that MS is not taking up the issue.

    I guess there are others.

    www.billspictures.net

    Monday, May 17, 2010 3:48 PM
  • Having continued to work on this, I find that a number of actions (in the above case killing Adobe processes, but also simply copying, pasting and deleting media files in other folders) function as a workaround to this annoying issue. One gets the impression, that the problem is linked to the respective application (Adobe, iTunes, media files), but in fact I do not believe this is actually the case. I am surprised though that MS is not taking up the issue.

    I guess there are others.

    www.billspictures.net


    Here we are again...  this is NOT an issue with 3rd party software. It is an issue with W7. The PROBLEM can be reproduced on a fresh install with no 3rd party software. There is no fix yet, and there likely will not be. The behavior is likely at the core of the file system functionality and MS will just ignore the issue because fixing it requires them to start over.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010 1:48 PM
  • I had this happen a couple of times and each time it was related to a folder that I had put on my desktop containing installation files for a printer and drivers from the internet. I installed the software from these folders but did not remove the folders.

    Later when I tried to delete the folders it would not delete giving the same error message "the action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program."

    Apparently something about the installation created either a file or a registry entry pointing to each of the folders. I had to uninstall the application first and then could delete, move or rename the folders.

    Quirky I agree, but Windows 7 is worth it.

    Good luck

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 5:44 PM
  • In my case, and in the case of others that have complained about this problem, the issue relates to files in the media folder, in particular My Music, exclusively. I get the impression (but have not tested this point) that the more media files there are, the worse the problem becomes.

    Example with workaround:

    I want to change a folder name under My Music from MusicFolderA to MusicFolderB . - The folder is locked without apparent reason. It cannot be renamed.

    I go to MusicFolderX . I copy and paste MusicFile1 inside that folder where the newly pasted one appears as MusicFile1 - copy.

    I delete MusicFile1 - copy. (It normally is not locked.)

    I go back to MusicFolderA which now is no longer locked and can change its name to MusicFolderB .

    (In this example, i rename a music folder. The same applies to deleting, copying, moving.)

    Of course, a restart of the system will also solve the issue, but that is normally not a realistic option.

    Another workaround, not always realistic either, is to move the folder with the files to be organized out of the media folder (such as My Music) to the desktop, for instance. It can be reorganized without any problems there. Once this is done it can be moved back to where it belongs.

    Have done quite some more research on this one. Found other victims, but no solution.

    I can understand that it is unavoidable to find issues in a newly released software version. What is more difficult to grasp is that MS feigns being unaware of the problem and does not communicate.

     

     

    • Edited by Laika48 Friday, August 27, 2010 6:18 PM Additional info
    Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:52 PM
  •  

    Additional info and another idea:

    The media (music) folders I test are rather deeply buried in the file structure, for example:

    Computer

       OS(C:)

          Users

             Username

                My Music

                   iTunes

                      iTunes Media

                         Music

                            ArtistName

                               AlbumName

    Is it possible that Windows Explorer simply has trouble handling files (i.e. releasing them after copying, moving) buried in deep levels, which is the case of many of my media folders. This would have led me to the incorrect conclusion that it is this specific type of file that suffers from the issue?

    www.billspictures.net

     

     


    Friday, August 27, 2010 6:31 PM
  • Annoying indeed!

    My experience is that I try and delete a file and get this message that it is in use by another program. However no other end-user programs (e.g. those with a UI) are running except Windows Explorer.

    If I shut down Windows Explorer, re-open it and go back to the folder I able able to delete the file that gave me the error. If I then try and delete another file from that folder I get the error again. Shut down Explorer, re-open, then I can delete that file but not the next one. And so on…

    Windows 7 64-bit OS

     


    Ed Tubridy
    Sunday, August 29, 2010 2:06 PM
  • I am having the same issue.  Very frustrating.  
    Thursday, September 30, 2010 5:47 PM
  • This fix worked for me.
    Friday, November 05, 2010 8:02 PM
  • I have this fix installed already and the problem persists.  Never had this issue with XP Pro except with a legit circumstance where I had simply forgotten the file was still open with an app.  It sucks to have to wait till Windows "feels like it" to manage my files.
    Sunday, November 21, 2010 5:59 PM
  • I'm having the same problem on Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit.  Never had this problem with XP Pro.  This plus the ridiculous printing security ("gota check the server to see if you are allowed to print") in Outlook 2010 are my top two gripes about Microsoft's newest software.  Other than that, Win 7 is way better than Vista and even has some features I like better than XP.  Outlook - not so good.
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:39 PM
  • This whole thread makes me wonder if anyone (that counts) from Microsoft even pays any attention to this forum. The thread started in May of 2009 and I see nothing in the whole thread that would indicate that Microsoft has made any attempt to fix the problem.
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:37 PM
  • hi,

    i hate this problem,

    somehow i found the source of the problem bu don't know how the solve it;

    when you open the folder then in adds it to the recent folders in taskbar pinned windows explorer

    then you cant change the name of folder or cant delete it

    dummy solution: unpin windows explorer from taskbar and do whatever you want :)

    i expect a better solution, thanks

    demiroker

     

    Thursday, December 16, 2010 9:08 AM
  • Microsoft, will you please fix this issue.  I'm having to have users come to me to do a simple folder rename or move.  I then have to login to the server and perform the operation from there.  This is ridiculous!  Will you please fix this issue?

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:23 PM
  • On Wed, 22 Dec 2010 23:23:06 +0000, Caleb_S wrote:
     
     
    > Microsoft, will you please fix this issue.  I'm having to have users come to me to do a simple folder rename or move.  I then have to login to the server and perform the operation from there.  This is ridiculous!  Will you please fix this issue?
     
     
     
    This isn't Microsoft you're addressing. This is a peer support forum.
    We are all just users of this version of Windows here, helping each
    other if and when we can. We are not Microsoft employees (not even
    those of us with "Microsoft MVP" behind our names; that's an honorary
    title for having provided consistently helpful advice) except for an
    occasional employee.
     
    If you want to complain to Microsoft about something, please contact
    them directly. Trying to do it here is just a waste of (figurative)
    breath.
     

    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    Thursday, December 23, 2010 9:00 PM
  • That's good to know.  I did not realize that was the case.  How can I tell if the forum is moderated by Microsoft?

    Monday, December 27, 2010 6:22 PM
  • The quide worked perfect.

    Friday, December 31, 2010 3:28 AM
  • I killed off my Acrotray.exe process in Task Manager and then things started to work.  That would indicate an Adobe problem, not a Windows 7 problem.  Who knows, maybe it'll work tomorrow when I have the same issue, maybe it won't.
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:47 PM
  • ...then a few hours later, it didn't again.
    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 6:40 PM
  • Ok here's a quirky workaround for the RENAMING problem, i hope it works for others who are jumping through hoops in the Microsoft world.

    I had a Folder called 'Network' and wanted to capitalise the full word. I wasn't allowed to do this and got that wonderful error message advising that it was open by another program! I tried a couple of things before chancing on to this workaround which consistently worked for me. This was NOT to rename the folder, but to add the change i wanted i.e 'NETWORKetwork', adding the new text to the old. Windows allowed this change!! I then go back in and delete the unwanted lowercase text and what do you know...It worked??? Well for now anyway.

    Hope this helps anyone who has lots of housekeeping to do and doesn't really have the time to wait for a Microsoft FIX...He he he.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:43 AM
  • This fix worked for me.
    WHAT fix?
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:15 PM
  • The quide worked perfect.

    The WHAT? What quide?
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:17 PM
  • On Wed, 22 Dec 2010 23:23:06 +0000, Caleb_S wrote:
     
     
    > Microsoft, will you please fix this issue.  I'm having to have users come to me to do a simple folder rename or move.  I then have to login to the server and perform the operation from there.  This is ridiculous!  Will you please fix this issue?
     
     
     
    This isn't Microsoft you're addressing. This is a peer support forum.
    We are all just users of this version of Windows here, helping each
    other if and when we can. We are not Microsoft employees (not even
    those of us with "Microsoft MVP" behind our names; that's an honorary
    title for having provided consistently helpful advice) except for an
    occasional employee.
     
    If you want to complain to Microsoft about something, please contact
    them directly. Trying to do it here is just a waste of (figurative)
    breath.
     

    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    The URL of this site ends in microsoft.com so that's one reason I kind of thought microsoft would be in on it. Are there any forums that microsoft actually participates in? How do you recommend contacting them "directly"?
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:24 PM
  • I have Windows 7 64b and Office 2010, Adobe CS5, Acrobat X Pro...  New install... couple months now.

    Disabling Arotray.exe in the task manager did not work for me...  I've done everything here and that I can think of without reformating my whole system.

    The only things that works for me is rebooting.  This is seriously a stupid bug that should be fixed.

    -mj

    Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:03 AM
  • I guess I have to reply to my self... if I totally want to be hones here.

    I disabled acrotray in task manager and closed down Outlook 2010, and all instances of Windows Explorer...  then I got a sandwich.

    15 minutes later, I came back and tried to rename the same folder that I have tried in to rename 15x before to no avail.

    However, IT WORKED.

    There is something wrong with Windows Explorer though with the "renaming" problem.

    Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:32 AM
  • I was having this problem in trying to rename/move/delete folders in my music directory - it was driving me insane. Then I realised the the directory was shared. So, I disabled the share and surprise, surprise the problem went away. The same could be happening with Photo/Documents/Videos directory, etc. 

     

    Just a suggestion.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011 7:14 PM
  • Sunday, February 27, 2011 2:59 PM
  • This is still hosed. I Have to close and re-open explorer for every folder rename.

    Windows 7 Ultimate - 2 licenses!!!

    How has this been left like this for this long? Seriously? Be Ashamed MS.


    Best Regards =)
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 9:29 PM
  • Ha!! So I found a time pattern to the renaming delay:

    If you get the error message, LEAVE THE ERROR MESSAGE OPEN and wait 30 seconds, then click the "Try Again" button and it should work. If it doesn't, give it a few more (5 - 10) seconds, then click the button again. At least I have pared down the waiting time, saved having to retype the new name...and found a handy use for the clock desktop gadget with the second hand activated.

    Hmmm, I wonder if that's why Microsoft added the desktop quick view, and the clock as a standard desktop gadget...

    Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:11 PM
  • This simple workaround is perfect.  I was trying to rename 2 folders in a directory with no luck.  Right-clicking a PPT file and selecting "copy" fooled the computer to put the file management focus on that action rather than the folder indexing.  After that, the renaming went fine.
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 3:26 PM
  • Chances are that you're only experiencing this with folders that contain content that generates thumbnails (photos and the like). A lot of people have speculated that this is to do with indexing (which I'm not going to try to dispute), but in my experience this is usually down to thumbnail generation.

    For example, in the bottom left-hand corner of your explorer window, if you select your problem-folder you should see the folder icon show a preview of the contents. It's kind of a nice addition to the GUI, but seems to be directly related to the problem.

    Turn this off by going to ORGANIZE > FOLDER AND SEARCH OPTIONS > VIEW (tab) ... and then tick "Always show icons, never thumbnails". Click Apply/OK and you're done.

    Try renaming that folder now. Do it several times in quick succession and hopefully you'll find that the folder renaming issue is gone.
    Monday, August 15, 2011 6:29 PM
  • I can't believe an issue from 2009 is still driving me nuts in August 2011.  Jed Station's solution of disabling thumbnails seems to be working ... so far.  This is ridiculous.
    Thursday, September 01, 2011 5:25 PM