Fix The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program on Windows 10 / 11

A user asked me in comment section that when he is trying to delete a folder, an error message appears saying The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program. If you are also facing this problem, here are some quick working fixes for this problem.


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The Action Cannot Be Completed Because The File Is Open In Another Program Min

Fix 1 – The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program

1. Press Window key + R to open run.

2. Write resmon.exe in it and Click OK.

 

Resmon Exe Min

 

3. Now, Click on CPU tab.

4. Click on Associated Handles.

 

Associated Handles Min

 

5. Now, Search the folder name or file name in the search handles box.

6. Right click on the process from the list and Choose end process. (Note that path of your folder is visible below Handle name)

 

End Process Folder Min

 


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Now,  Go ahead and try again. You will face absolutely no problem.

Fix 2 – Restart Windows Explorer

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc together on your keyboard to Open task manager.

2. Locate Windows explorer, right click on it and Choose Restart.

 

Restart Windows Explorer Min

Fix 3 – Disable Controlled folder access

1. Press Windows key + S key together from keyboard and search windows security.

2. Click on Windows security from the search result.

 

Windows Security

 

3. Click on Virus & Threat protection.

 

Virus Threat Protection

 

4. Click on manage settings under  Virus & Threat protection settings.

 

Manage Virus Threat Protection

 

5. Click on manage controlled folder access under controlled folder access.

 

Controlled Folder Access

 

6. Turn off Controlled folder access.

 

Off Controlled Folder Access

 

 

Fix 4 – Disable Preview Pane

If by anyhow , you have enabled preview pane , Just disable it and try again.

Just Press Alt+P together to disable it if it is enabled. OR alternatively, you can just click on View and then click on Preview pane to disable it.

 

Preview Pane Min (1)

 

Fix 5 – Optimize the Drive in Which you created the Folder

1. Right Click on the drive in which you created the Folder.

2. Choose Properties.

 

Properties Drive

 

3. Click on Tools Tab.

4. Choose Optimize.

 

Optimize

Fix 5 – Empty recycle Bin

1 – Go to Desktop.

2 – Right click on Recycle bin and click on Empty Recycle Bin

Empty Recycle Bin Min

Fix 5 – Delete Thumbnails

1- Search Disk cleanup in windows searh and then click on it

Disk Cleanup Min

2 – Choose Drive C and click OK.

3 – Uncheck all options and select Only Thumbnails and click OK.


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Thumbnails will be deleted

Thumbnails Delete Min

Fix 6 – Turn Off Creation of Thumbnails

If creation of thumbnail is throwing this error, then you can disable creation of thumnails.

1 – Search file explorer options in windows search.

File Explorer Options 1 Min

 

2 – Click on View Tab

3 – Select Always show icons, Never thumbnails and click Apply

Disable Thumnails Min (1)

 

Fix 6 – Launch folder windows in a separate process

1 – Search file explorer options in windows search.

File Explorer Options 1 Min

 

2 – Click on View Tab

3 – Select Launch folder windows in a separate process option and click on Apply

View Launch Folder Min

Now, try again and see if your problem got resolved or not

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6 thoughts on “Fix The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program on Windows 10 / 11”

  1. A recent Windows10 Update left the following: C:\$RECYCLE.BIN\NewOS\, containing hundreds of all the folders and files standard in the Windows OS. I took Ownership of all of it. Then using an Administrator-level DOS box, I issued commands like: “ERASE /S/Q/F C:\$RECYCLE.BIN\NewOS\Users\*.*” Nothing worked. I then applied BCWipe and let it clean out all of it after a Restart. POOF! All gone. Lesson: next time just use BCWipe.

  2. there is an easier way, just close Outlook, the file is locked because of some dumb MSFT reason connected with Outlook… you do not have to do all of the above… I have fought this problem for years and finally discovered it… try it.

  3. Hi and thank you for your Support which is highly appreciated .
    I have this problem : recycle bin on drive C is corrupted windows 10

    I tried reading online so many time to be able to solve this issue but no success
    can you please help us on this matter ?

    all the best

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