How to find out which windows process is using a file

Tips to FindWe try to give you tips about finding which windows process is using a file before let see what are the errors. In windows system, if you ever try to delete, move, or rename, it warns you with the message something like this.

  • “Cannot delete file: Access is denied”
  • “The source or destination file may be in use”
  • “There has been a sharing violation”
  • The file is in use by another program or user”
  • “Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use”

Process Explorer is one of the best ways to hold locked files or folders. It is a free Microsoft program. Here we are going to find out what program, DLL, or handle is using a folder or file. You will require running like an administrator.

Find What Program Is Using a File

The system message may inform you what program is using the file if you’re using windows 7 or 8. But in windows XP it doesn’t inform you. For this there is an easy way to find out the program.

  • First open process Explorer, running as administrator.
  • Search the gunsight icon on the right on the toolbar shown like below image.
  • Haul the icon and drop it on the locked file or folder.
  • The executable file will be highlighted in the Process Explorer main display list.

Tips to Find

Find which handle or DLL using a file

  • First open Process Explorer, running as administrator.
  • Enter the shortcut Ctrl+F. Otherwise, go to “Find” menu and click on “Find a Handle or DLL”.
  • Now a search dialog box will appear.
  • Enter in the name of the locked file or any other file of interest. Generally Partial names are sufficient.
  • Click “Search” button.
  • Then a list will be generated with may be a number of entries.
  • If you select an individual handle and pressing the delete key in the list it will be killed. But, you should take care while deleting handles, because instabilities may occur. Frequently, rebooting will free a locked file.

This is all about how to find out which Windows process is using a File.

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