Guide: How to Delete an Undeletable file

when you attempt to delete some files, you can’t able to delete, you receive error messages, most of the case you should shut down the “explorer.exe” process and then try deleting the program again. Shutting down the “explorer.exe” process, however, makes your taskbar, start menu, and desktop items disappear (“explorer.exe” is responsible for running them). Therefore, after shutting down the “explorer.exe” process, you have to delete the unwanted program from the DOS command prompt.

Delete an Undeletable Data

Delete an Undeletable File

Steps to successfully delete an undeletable file:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window and leave it open.
  2. Close all open programs.
  3. You now need to close EXPLORER.EXE. The proper way to shutdown Explorer is to raise the “Shut Down Windows” dialog (select “Shut Down…” from the start menu), hold down CTRL+SHIFT+ALT and press the CANCEL button. Explorer will exit cleanly.

Note: The <CTRL+SHIFT+ALT> at the ‘Shut Down Windows’ dialog method of closing Explorer is built into Explorer. (It was specifically designed so that developers writing Shell Extensions could get Explorer to release their Shell Extension DLLs while debugging them).

  1. Go back to the Command Prompt window and change to the directory where the undeletable file is located in. At the command prompt type DEL <filename> where <filename> is the file you wish to delete.
  2. Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell.
  3. Close Task Manager.
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