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How to Unlock Locked Files in Windows

Updated on April 17, 2012

How do I unlock files?

Learn how to unlock locked files
Learn how to unlock locked files | Source

Unlocking files is easy


Are you having trouble deleting a file or a folder because it’s locked by another process? Are you getting the “Cannot delete file/folder” or “Access is denied” messages along with a notification that “The source file may be in use”? Quite often files are locked because you’re not logged in as administrator. But what if you are logged in as administrator and files still won’t get deleted? Here are three programs that will help you unlock files in Windows.

1. Auslogics Task Manager

Auslogics Task Manager is a free Windows Task Manager alternative with a lot of additional functions. With the help of this utility you can monitor how applications, processes and Windows services use your CPU, RAM, I/O and network. The program also displays all locked files and folders along with the actual processes that are locking them. Auslogics Task Manager also gives each process a security rating, so that you will know if a piece of malware is locking your files. To unlock files with Auslogics Task Manager, click on the Locked Files menu item, select the file in question, and click on Unlock File.

2. EMCO UnLock It

UnLock It is a free utility from EMCO that has been specifically created to help users unlock locked files and folders. The program detects the locking processes and lets you unlock your files by killing the locking process. UnLock It can be integrated into Windows Explorer and allows to unlock files and folders by right-clicking on them. The application has an intuitive interface and supports force closing of file and dll handles, as well as termination of protected processes.

3. IObit Unlocker

IObit Unlocker is another free tool that supports Windows Explorer integration. The application is still in Beta, but it works fine with most locked files. Unlocking files and folders with IObit Unlocker couldn’t be easier and its interface couldn’t be clearer. Just launch the program, select the file you wish to unlock, check the Force Mode checkbox if you want the program to forcibly close the locking process, and choose one of the actions from the Unlock button’s drop-down menu: Unlock & Delete, Unlock & Rename, Unlock & Copy or Unlock & Move.

These tools make unlocking locked files in Windows quick and easy. All of them work on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP, Vista and 7, which makes them suitable for most Windows users.

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