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Complete Guide to Force Delete a File in Windows Server 2022/2019/2016

Is Windows File Explorer claiming that the document or a file you're attempting to delete cannot be deleted? Follow our complete guide to force delete a file in Windows Server here!

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure


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Updated by Tracy King on Oct 19, 2023
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Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Task Manager To launch Task Manager, go to Start, enter "Task Manager," and then choose "Task Manager"...Full steps
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When trying to remove a file or folder in Windows 10, you may encounter the following issue: no matter how many times you try to delete the file or folder, nothing happens. So, what is the best way to remove files that cannot be deleted?

You must be wondering, 'How can I force a file to be deleted from my Windows computer?' It is common for Windows computers to identify a file as locked if it is being accessed or utilized by another application or program. This means that you will not be able to delete, alter, or transfer the file.

However, the file unlocking procedure may not always be practical. It might result in the file deletion action being unable to be completed and a warning message stating that another software is now using the file. For those who are insistent on deleting the file or want to force the deletion of the file, the methods described in this article can be of great help. Please, keep reading!

guide to force delete a file in windows

Why Do You Need to Force Delete a File or Folder in Windows Server?

You may come across a folder that you cannot remove at some time. If you wish to solve this issue, you must first identify the source of the problem. The most common explanation for this is that the file is being utilized or locked. In every other case, a virus must be taken into consideration.

It is most likely because another software is now attempting to access the file. This may happen even if you don't see any apps running on your computer. If another program or process opens a file, Windows 11/10 places it in a locked state, making it impossible to delete, change, or transfer it to another location.

Learn more about some of the most common reasons why you may need to forcibly delete a file or folder in Windows Server in the sections below:

  • Because the file is now open on the system, removing it is impossible. Apps or Windows background processes may be opening the file.
  • Because the file is currently in use, it is impossible to remove it. Other applications or system processes may access and utilize the file.
  • When you attempt to remove a file or folder from an external device that has been mounted, you will see the message "Access Denied."
  • Because the disk is entire or write-protected, removing the file or folder is impossible.
  • Failure or corruption of the hard drive.
  • To force the deletion of a password-protected file to which you have forgotten the password.
  • The file or folder has been restricted to read-only access.
  • There is a problem with the file or folder.
  • To compel the deletion of files that are not capable of being erased.
  • You are attempting to remove files from the computer system that you are not authorized to erase.
  • The contents of the Recycle Bin have been corrupted.
  • The space in the recycle bin is filled.
  • The file or folder has been infected with malware or a virus.
  • To make a file that is now open in another application disappear via force.

Quick Tips to Force Delete Files in Server Computers

To maximize the storage space available on your computer and other media storage devices, you must regularly eliminate useless files and folders to free up more available space.

So, what can you do to tackle the problems that we have outlined in the previous part? Here, we have penned down some of the most valuable tips to help you solve your force file deletion problem quickly.

  • Close any open applications or software currently operating that is using the file.
  • Shut off any background-running programs that may be accessing or modifying the file.
  • Unlock the file by entering a password.
  • Virus removal is necessary.
  • After you've closed the application, try again.
  • Restart your computer to get things going again.
  • Using the Task Manager, terminate the program.
  • Change the process parameters for File Explorer.
  • Disable the File Explorer preview window by clicking on the Disable button.
  • Using the Command Prompt, you may force the deletion of the file now in use.
  • With the help of a tool (which we will come to later), unlock the file that is now in use.

We recommend our readers retry and delete files again following these valuable tips. And if nothing works out for you, there is always a solution that needs to be tried. Maybe, third-party software can help you out.

How Do I Force Delete a File/Folder in Windows Server 2022/2019

When a file is open in an application, it is impossible to remove it. Typically, you will receive this information if you cannot remove a file, such as the one shown in the image below.

Remember that you will have to locate the target file first from the targeted device so that you may be able to delete it later.

forced to delete a file

You may force Windows 11/10 to delete a file by following the procedures outlined below:

Step 1: To launch Task Manager, go to Start, enter Task Manager, and then choose Task Manager.

Step 2: Search for and choose End task from inside the program presently consuming the file.

Step 3: Then, try deleting the file once again on your Windows computer.

forced to delete a file

#1. Download File Shredder Software - EaseUS BitWiper for Help

There are software methods available for entirely forcibly deleting data from your computer. You may, however, completely delete the file by overwriting it with ones and zeros or by using a shredding program to erase the file permanently.

Some applications remove everything on the hard disk, while others delete just the files and folders that have been chosen. So, what is the best software to do so? EaseUS BitWiper! It can pretty much do everything for you in deleting the files forcibly so that you may run your programs and applications with ease.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Main File Shredding Features

  • It supports the following wipe methods: Secure Erase, HMG IS5, One Pass Zero, DoD 5220.22-M(E), One Pass Random, DoD 5220.22-M(ECE), GOST P50739-95, Gutmann, and others.
  • Documents, photos, movies, audio files, folders, and even web pages, among other forms of information, should be shredded, as should all other types of files.
  • Wipe off as many partitions as you like on a hard drive or external device.
  • There are free shredding of up to 5 files or folders, with no file size restrictions.
  • Securely delete your hard drive or solid-state drive for free, with no capacity restrictions.

#2. Force Delete a File or Folder in Server in 1 Click

Now, what would you do in the case of being unable to delete files forcibly or the files that are un-removable? As mentioned above, the best solution to this is to use the ever-reliable EaseUS BitWiper.

Not only is the software easy-to-use, reliable, safe, and secure, but it also guarantees excellent functionality. How can you use it to get the job done? We recommend you to go through our step-by-step guide and find out how you can force delete a file or folder in the server in 1 click.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS BitWiper and click "File Shredder".

Select File Shredder

Step 2. Click "Add Files" to select the files you need to shred, or you can drag files, documents, images, music files, etc., into the center area.

Select files to shred

Step 3. Re-select files that you need to shred and click "Shred" to confirm.

Confirm to shred files

Step 4. The program will immediately shred all the selected files. When it finishes, click "Done".

Complete shredding files


You may want to delete a file, but the system will not allow you to do so. It often occurs because your operating system has identified the file as being used by another software or because the file is write-protected.

As a result, you will be unable to delete, move, or rename the file. Thus, in that case, what would be your go-to strategy? As mentioned in the article, the EaseUS BitWiper is the best solution to your OS not forcibly deleting a file. It can help you get rid of the program or the software in one click.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure