Deleting files in Windows is as simple as selecting them and pressing the Del key. We can also use the explorer button to delete them or drag them to the recycle bin. Although it is a very simple task, it is not exempt from problems and it is that, on occasions, we can find a Windows message informing us that we can not perform that action. The solution to this problem is very varied depending on several factors.
Depending on the type of file that we want to delete, we can find certain limitations when it comes to deleting certain files.
The file is open
If we are editing a photo, watching a movie or editing a document and we want to delete it, Windows will not complete the task since it is open. When the document is open, it is blocked by the application that we are using to view or edit it. In order to delete that file, all we have to do is close the app with which we have the file open.
Close the application process
Some files run in the background and remain in the device’s memory until we completely shut down the device. Before restarting the computer we can access the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), select the name of the file or application and click on Finish homework. Once it disappears from the background processes, we will be able to eliminate the application without problems using the method that is most comfortable for us.
From command prompt
If through the graphical interface, we cannot delete the file, we will always have to access the command line using CMD to force the deletion of the file. Of course, we must take into account that all the files that we delete through the command line are completely removed from the computerthey do not previously go through the recycle bin, since this operation is not done using the graphical interface, but the command line.
To delete a file from the command line, we access the Command Prompt via CMD with administrator permissions. Next, we go to the file path using the “cd” command. If the file is in the Users/Nacho/Documents folder, we will write the following command, regardless of which directory we are in.
Next, we use the “del” command to delete the file. To delete, for example, the document softzone.docx, we will use the command.
If we do not enter the document extension, we will not be able to delete the file.
Reboot the system
If none of the methods that we have mentioned in this article solve the problem that prevents us from deleting a certain file, as long as it is not a system file, we should try restarting the computer. In this way, if the file is open in memory by any application in the background, it will close and, after restarting, we will be able to delete the file without problems.
If we want to delete a file that is part of the system, we’re never going to be able to do it using the operating system it depends on. The only way to do it is to boot the PC with a Live Linux distro and access the directory where the file we want to delete is located. However, before deleting this type of file, we must bear in mind that the equipment may stop working. For something, Microsoft does not allow you to delete certain system files, not on a whim.