How to Find out which Process is Locking a File or Folder on Windows 11 or 10?

In Windows 11/10, if you are trying to modify/ delete any particular file on your computer but an error message appears stating “The action can’t be completed because the folder is open in another program“, you can’t delete/ modify the file without stopping the other program which is using it.

Now, how to tell which process has a file open? If it is urgent, you need to identify the process of locking a file and then end the process to modify the target file. It may happen due to several reasons, such as a file or folder being used by another process or malware having altered the permission.

Here, we mentioned a few third-party Windows utilities, such as Wise Force Deleter, ForceDelete, and FileAssassin, that let you unlock the process and delete the desired files or folders from your PC. Now, Microsoft has added the File Locksmith tool in PowerToys version 0.64 that identifies the process and unlocks the files or folders so you can delete them quickly. In this risewindows guide, we will be discussing different methods to check the process that is holding a file in Windows 11/10.

How to Determine which Process is Locking a File or Folder in Windows 11 or 10?

Follow these steps to quickly find which process is locking a file or folder on Windows 11 or 10:-

Step 1. Firstly, download the latest version of PowerToys and install it on your computer.

Step 2. Now, launch the PowerToys application on your Windows machine.

Step 3. Then, select File Locksmith in the left sidebar, and on the right ensure the Enable File Locksmith toggle switch is turned On.

Step 4. After that, locate the file or folder that is locked on your computer. Next, right-click on it and select What’s using this file option. On Windows 11 PC, you need to select “Show more options” to get this option in the classic context menu.

Step 5. Finally, when the File Locksmith window appears, click on the down caret arrow to expand it. Here, it will display the Process ID, Current User, and a number of locked Files.

If you just want to unlock the file or folder, click the End task button.

Once you execute the above steps, you can move/delete the file or folder in Windows 11 or 10.

Download PowerToys

You can download the latest version of PowerToys at GitHub.

That’s it for the article.

I hope this post will be informatative to you.

Good luck & keep growing, guys…!!!

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