Can’t delete files or folders in Windows 10?Force delete

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In order to optimize the storage space of computers and other media storage devices, you need to frequently delete unnecessary files and folders to free up more free space.

However, sometimes you may encounter such a problem: no matter how many times you try, you cannot delete files or folders in your Windows 10 computer.To help you find the cause and Forcibly delete files or folders that cannot be deleted In Windows 10, here are some tips and solutions.However, if you delete a file or folder by mistake and emptied the recycle bin, you can easily restore it for free MiniTool Power data recovery software.

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Possible causes of the “Cannot delete file/folder” problem

  • The file cannot be deleted because it is already open in the system. The file can be opened by a program or Windows background process.
  • The file cannot be deleted because it is in use. The file may be used by other programs or system processes.
  • When you try to delete files or folders from the mounted external drive, “Access is denied”.
  • The file or folder cannot be deleted because the disk is full or write-protected.
  • The disk is faulty or damaged.
  • The file or folder is read-only.
  • The file or folder is damaged.
  • You are trying to delete a computer system file that is not allowed to be deleted.
  • The recycle bin is damaged.
  • The recycle bin is full.
  • The file or folder is infected by malware or virus.

3 ways to force delete files or folders in Windows 10

Although there are reasons why you cannot delete a file or folder, if you are sure that the file or folder is useless, you can try the following two methods to force deletion of the file or folder.

Use CMD to force deletion of files or folders in Windows 10

You can try to use CMD (Command Prompt) to force deletion of files or folders from Windows 10 computers, SD cards, USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc.

1. Use “DEL” command to force delete files in CMD:

  • Access the CMD utility.You can click Start Menu, type instruction, right click Command prompt Apply and select Run as administrator.
  • In the command prompt window, you can type the command line: del file path, E.g, C:UsersminiDesktoptest.txt, then press enter Key to execute the command. This will delete the TXT file named “test” on the desktop. You should replace “file path” with the actual path of the target file.

Can't delete files or folders in Windows 10?Force delete

note: Please make sure to include the file extension in the command, such as .txt, .docx, .xls, etc.To check the full path of a file or folder, you can right-click the file or folder and select Property.

Can't delete files or folders in Windows 10?Force delete

use”RMDIR / S / Q“Command to force delete the folder in CMD:

  • After entering the command prompt window, you can enter rmdir /s/q folder path, E.g, rmdir / s / q E: test, then press enter key. This will delete the folder named “test” in my USB drive. You should replace “Folder Path” with the actual path of the target folder.

Can't delete files or folders in Windows 10?Force delete2. Press Shift + Delete keys to force deletion of files or folders

If the problem is caused by the recycle bin, you can select the target file of the folder and press the Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut to delete it permanently. This way will bypass the recycle bin.

3. Run Windows 10 in safe mode to delete files/folders

If you cannot delete a file or folder in Windows 10, you can boot your Windows 10 computer into safe mode to try to delete it. This may help if you don’t know which process’s files are currently in use, or if there are malware or viruses on your computer.

10 other tips to fix the “Cannot delete file/folder” error

In addition to using CMD to force deletion of files or folders, you can also try some other measures to try to delete files or folders successfully in Windows 10.

  • Secret 1. Close all open programs that are currently using files or folders.
  • Secret 2.press Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open the task manager.Click the suspicious program, and then click End task Button to close them.
  • Secret 3. Restart your computer.
  • Secret 4. Run a virus scan on the file or folder.
  • Secret 5. Perform a virus scan on the entire computer.
  • Secret 6. Right-click the file or folder and select Properties to check its status. Make sure it is not read-only.
  • Secret 7. Empty the recycle bin to free up space in the recycle bin.
  • Secret 8. Run the CHKDSK command to check and repair disk errors.
  • Secret 9. Remove the write protection on the SD card, USB, external hard drive.
  • Secret 10. Run a third-party file repair tool to repair damaged files.

Free file recovery tool to recover deleted/lost files

Sometimes you may delete a file or folder by mistake and want to get it back. You can easily restore it using a free data recovery program.

MiniTool Power data recovery It is a free clean data recovery tool for Windows. You can use it to recover any deleted or lost files in Windows computers, external hard drives, USB, memory cards, SD cards, SSDs, etc. It only takes a few clicks to retrieve deleted or lost data by yourself.

Can't delete files or folders in Windows 10?Force delete

Packing up, tidy up

Can’t delete files or folders on the computer or other storage devices? Now, you know how to force deletion of files or folders using CMD in Windows 10. Ten other tips are also provided to help you solve the problem of file deletion failure.

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