You want to wipe your disk space, but there are some data that simply cannot be erased. There are occasions when you try to remove a file but are unable to. When you attempt to remove certain files, regardless of whether they are stored in a file folder or the Recycle Bin. The files are allegedly unavailable, inaccessible, or under use. There are numerous explanations as to why that file won’t remove. Sometimes the system doesn’t give enough information about the mistake, making these causes first obvious.
It’s critical to keep your system free of garbage files and other useless things using up storage space. Despite having administrator rights in Windows, users occasionally run into the problem of being unable to delete specific files or folders. This can be brought on by a virus, malware, spyware, Trojan horse, adware, or corrupted/damaged system files and permissions, which lock the files and render them inaccessible.
In a few instances, the file cannot be erased or destroyed because another software or important application is using it. Windows frequently displays the following warnings when attempting to remove protected or undeletable files:
- Another software is using the file.
- A violation of sharing has occurred.
- File cannot be deleted: Access is forbidden
- The destination for the source or file is in use.
- The directory or file is damaged or illegible.
This could be annoying if you are trying to clear some space and a few problematic files prevent you from moving on. These files might be as small as a few bytes or as large as several gigabytes. You can still erase undeleted data with the aid of a few tactics and tips.
How to Delete Undeletable Files and Folders?
If you have had a similar problem, you can use software or a manual method to forcibly erase and remove these irremovable files and directories.
1.Reboot the computer
Start by rebooting. It’s conceivable that a programme or other Windows processes are using the file or folder location in the background. These processes come to an end when the system is shut down. Open File Explorer after a restart and look through the file or folder location. Aim to remove it. If it doesn’t work, try starting Windows in “Safe Mode” by doing the following:
For Windows XP and 7
- Turn on your machine after turning it off by pressing the power button.
- Start pressing the “F8” key on the keyboard right away until the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears.
- Use the arrow keys to select “Safe Mode” from the “Advanced Boot options” menu, then press “Enter.”
- For Windows 8, 8.1, and 10
- In the Advance Startup section of Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, select the “Get Started” option.
- Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart from the list of options.
- Press 4 or F4 to start the computer in Safe Mode after the restart.
When Safe Mode has successfully booted, open File Explorer and attempt deleting the files or directories. If this doesn’t work, move on to the next solution.
2.Use command Prompt
You may remove the majority of problematic files and directories from your Windows PC using the Command Prompt or cmd. To permanently delete files and folders that cannot be deleted, follow these procedures.
WARNING: Use these commands with extreme caution. Before running these commands, double- and triple-check the location of the file or folder. You might unintentionally remove some crucial files.
- Cmd can be entered by pressing Windows+S.
- Run as administrator by choosing “Run as” when you right-click on “Command Prompt.” CMD appears in a window.
- Type del /F /Q /A C:UsersDownloads to remove a single file.
- Use the RMDIR or RD command to delete a directory (folder). Run the command “rd /S /Q C: UsersDownloads”
- After entering the command in the cmd window, press the “Enter” key.
- /F Force deleting of read-only files.
- /S Delete specified files from all subdirectories.
- /Q Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to delete on global wildcard
- /A Selects files to delete based on attributes
- Followed by the location of file or folder
3. Use Software
If the command prompt is unable to remove locked or infected files and folders from your PC, you can use a trustworthy programme like BitRaser File Eraser to assist you free up space that isn’t actually needed on your computer. Below are the steps to follow:
- Install BitRaser for File after purchasing it.
- Start the programme.
- Then, select “Erase files and folders” in the left-hand menu. All drives and partitions are visible on the right-panel.
- To extend the drive, double-click (or click on the “+” sign). Continue to expand until you find the restricted or inaccessible file or folder that you wish to delete.
- To pick a file or folder, click the tick next to it. You can choose numerous files, directories, and subfolders.
- Select “Erase Now” by clicking the button in the bottom right corner. When prompted, confirm.
- You are prompted to restart the computer in a popup after the BitRaser for File has cleaned up the selected files and directories. To reboot the computer, click “Reboot.”
After the system is restarted, the specified undeletable files and folders are permanently deleted.
Additionally, this utility can assist you in permanently erasing any traces of your internet usage, system activity, application activity, and other files and folders beyond the reach of recovery, protecting your privacy.
It securely destroys data utilising 17 international erasure standards, including NATO, DOD Standard 5220.22-M, 3 Pass/7 Pass, etc.
Remove or delete your files with caution and security to avoid accidently deleting crucial files or directories. To prevent infection of your system and files, use an effective and trusted antivirus and anti-malware tool.
Additionally, it will aid you in preventing data loss incidents brought on by malware or virus attacks like ransomware. Run scheduled cleanup actions as well to purge your system of pointless files and directories.
BitRaser File Eraser can be used to erase files and folders that cannot be deleted, as well as to schedule or automate the erasure operation (once, daily, weekly, monthly, on first boot, or on every boot).