How to Delete a Locked File in Windows 10

When you run into a locked folder in Windows 10, the system won’t allow you to do anything with it -- open it, delete it, or move it -- without the password. For folders that you didn’t lock, finding the password often isn’t an option. You can’t open these folders, but you can delete them -- even though a simple right-click “Delete” won’t work, nor will the delete button.

It should be noted, however, that deleting these files could wreak havoc on your system if you’re not sure why they’re there in the first place. Proceed with caution.

1. Locate the folder you wish to delete. I don’t have any locked folders I’m willing to delete, so let’s create an unlocked folder -- and call it SkypeHost.exe (a copy of an actual locked file) -- for the sake of the tutorial. It works the same, but you can just as easily remove this folder with the delete button.

2. Download Process Explorer from Microsoft’s website, and press OK on the pop-up window.

3. Double click processexp64 to extract the file.

4. Choose Extract All.

5. Click Open.

6. Double click the procexp64 application to open the application.

7. Select Run.

8. Read the terms and press the Agree button.

9. In the Process Explorer window, choose File > Show Details for All Processes.

10. Allow the app to make changes by pressing the Yes button.

11. Go the the Find menu at the top and select Find Handle or DLL.

12. Type in the file name and hit Search.

13. Right click the process in the bottom of the Process Explorer screen and select Close Handle. If there are multiple processes listed here, you’ll need to repeat this step to close all of them.

14. Delete the file as you would normally.

Windows 10 Annoyances and Problems