File and folder unlocker for Windows

Posted: February 6, 2009 in science & technology


Who doesn’t hate those pesky error messages telling you that you can’t access a certain file or folder on windows, like:

  • Access denied.
  • The file is in use by another program or user.
  • The source or destination file may be in use.
  • Cannot delete file: It is being used by another person or program.
  • Cannot delete Folder: It is being used by another person or program.
  • The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.
  • There has been a sharing violation.
  • Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

File & Folder Unlocker (freeware) could provide a solution by offering the following functions:

  • Unlocking files or folders that are locked
  • Searching for files that are open or locked
  • Finding which process has a specific file or folder being opened
  • Listing of all files & folders held open by processes or by remote (network) users

Folder Unlocker is not the only freeware application to do the unlocking job, but it’s the first I have heard of that also has a search function.

Apparently Windows 7 is not as pesky anymore as its predecessors; it supposedly tells you which process is responsible for the locking. I haven’t encountered this problem yet on Windows 7 and therefore can’t comment on what actually is happening in such an event. For example, knowing the process is one thing – having an easy way to shut it down is another, which means there still could be room for using unlockers in the next Windows incarnation.


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