Can’t Delete a Folder in Windows? How to fix it

Can’t Delete a Folder in Windows: It’s a good idea to remove unnecessary folders to free up storage space on your device. However, it is possible to notice that some folders don’t get deleted using conventional methods.

If the folder is opened in another program, or if you don’t have enough privileges to delete it, this can occur. We will also discuss other causes. We’ll also offer some solutions to make it easier to clean out the folders.

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Why Can’t Delete a Folder in Windows 10?

Windows 10’s “Can’t Delete Folder” error message can come in many forms. Here are some common causes and the reasons for them:

  • You can’t delete a folder in use. In some cases you might receive a message saying that the folder you are trying to delete has already been used. You will need to close any other applications that may be accessing this directory. Similar situations were covered in our use error article.
  • File access denied: If you don’t have permissions to delete a file or folder, this error message may appear. You can force delete the file by changing your security permissions.
  • You can’t delete a folder in another program. Windows by default prevents you deleting files that are being used by other programs. This error can be fixed by making sure that the file is not being used by any other programs.
  • Windows cannot delete files with long names. Windows won’t allow files to exceed a certain character limit. The best way to fix the problem is to rename it.
  • Files cannot be deleted without permission This error is a variant of the above error. However, in most cases you can correct it by simply changing your security permissions.
    • Use the Windows Type and key cmd .
    • Right-click Command Prompt to select Run As Administrator.
    • Enter del, followed by the path of the folder or file you want to delete, as shown in the command below: del c:usersJohnDoeDesktoptext.txt
    • Press Enter To run the command.
    • Repeat the process for any files or folders you are unable to delete using normal methods.

Stop the Background Processes in the Folder

If the folder is running in the background, it will most likely be impossible to delete. You cannot delete the folder if the files in that folder are still active in the system processes. To close the associated folder processes, you can either manually close them or use task manager.

  1. To open Task manager, press Shift + Ctrl + Esc.
  2. Find the folder or process that is related to it in the list and Right-click.
  3. Click here Final task .
  4. After the process has been stopped, you can delete the folder.

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Change the Ownership of the Folder

You may not be the owner of the folder you want to delete. You can read, write, and modify the permissions to the folder if you are the owner.

  1. Right-click the folder you wish to modify and choose Properties
  2. Go to the Safetytab.
  3. Click on now Advanced .
  4. Click here Change Which is located next to the Owner’s name.
  5. Enter your username in the enter, object field and click on Check Names. The username will be displayed.
  6. Click OK. Click on OK to save the Owner’s name.
  7. Check the options Replace the owner of sub containers and object and Replace child object permissions by inheritable permission entries for the object.
  8. Click here Apply You will be able to take full ownership of the folder.

This can also be done by using the command prompt , with elevated privileges.

  1. Use Windows Key + X to open the Windows Terminal Admin.
  2. Enter this command. Replace the directory folder with the desired folder.
    takeown /F.C:Others
  3. Now, the ownership of the folder is changing.
  4. You can also delete the folder. This command can be used to delete the folder.
    del C:Others

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PowerShell enables you to force delete

Windows PowerShell offers many command-line tools that will help you manage the folder on your computer. The Remove-Item command can be used to delete the folder. This command is very similar to the where it deletes the file without using the Recycle bin.

  1. Use Windows Key + R to type powershell and hit Enter.
  2. Now, execute the following command.
    Remove-Item C:\Others

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Do a Malware Scan

Malware and viruses may be responsible if you’re still having trouble deleting the folder. Malware can sometimes mimic the folder, making it difficult to delete. This can also impact the system process of deleting the folder. You can ensure you are safe from viruses and malware by running a scan with Windows Defender or any other Antivirus software.

  1. Use Windows Key + R to type windowsdefender, and then hit enter.
  2. Go to Protection against viruses and other threats .
  3. Click the Check out the scan options .
  4. Select Full Scans, then click on Start Scan.

Use safe mode

  1. The Start Menu is now open.
  2. Click on the Power button.
  3. Hold the button down Shift Choose and key Restart From the menu.
  4. Wait for your computer to restart, then select Troubleshoot.
  5. Select Advanced Options then click on Start Settings.
  6. Click the Restart link.
  7. By pressing the appropriate keyboard key, you can select any version of Safe Mode.

After you have entered Safe Mode, delete the problem file or directory once more.

This is a temporary solution. However, it can prove to be useful if you only need to delete a few files or folders from one directory.

If you cannot boot into Safe Mode you can use the Power Menu or third-party software.

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Run CHKDSK Command

A bad sector can lead to the folder you want to delete. Use the CHKDSK tool to scan the volume where your file is located and correct any errors. This scan can be done by clicking here

  1. Use Windows Key + R to type cmd.
  2. To open the command prompt, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  3. Enter this command and hit the enter key.
    chkdsk /f /r /x

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