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PowerToys will soon allow you to find what app prevents deleting a file

You may be familiar with the Unlocker freeware app that allows deleting files in use.  The app is able to find what process is locking the file. The similar functionality now comes to PowerToys with a new "File Locksmith" utility.

It will put itself in the File Explorer context menu for all files. Right-clicking a file will bring up a dialog that shows process(es) that use the selected file. For each of the process the app will display its ID, the user account it runs under, and the full list of files the process is using.

The End Task button will kill the processes to free up the file, so you could delete or move it.

You can see the mockup of the UI here:

As File Locksmith is a work-in-progress, you may expect its developers to change the appearance of its user interface and refining its features. It will take some time before the new tool first land in the preview version of PowerToys.

The stable version of PowerToys is notable for introducing brand new tools with its recent release, including Screen Ruler, Quick Accent, and Text Extractor. You can learn more about them here.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

One thought on “PowerToys will soon allow you to find what app prevents deleting a file”

  1. Honestly this should be a native feature in Windows.
    I find it really annoying how Windows doesn’t tell you what’s actually using a file, forcing me to play detective. If you can detect that a file is in use, you should be able to say what’s using it too.

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