Unlocker Windows Explorer Extension Handles Locked Files Easily

image We’ve all had problems, at one time or another, attempting to delete a file that simply refused to be deleted. This can be frustrating, and can lead to all sorts of confusing thoughts. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The reality is, these types of messages are not as uncommon as you might believe, and can be caused by any number of issues including (let’s hope not), a malware infection.

Unlocker is a Windows Explorer extension that allows you with a simple right-click of the mouse, on a file or folder, to handle those annoying error messages like “error deleting file or folder, cannot delete folder it is used by another person or program”.

So that you’re prepared to handle the situation when faced with any of the previous messages, Unlocker is a great Explorer extension to have on hand.


If the folder or file is locked, a window listing of lockers will appear as in the following screen shot, which indicates the Recycle Bin is locked.


Running Unlocker provided access.


The developer has provided a handy dandy application comparison chart on his site, which I’ve partially reproduced here.


Fast facts: Unlocker will handle the following.

Cannot delete file: Access is denied
There has been a sharing violation.
The source or destination file may be in use.
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.

System Requirements: Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / Windows 7 (64 bit compatible).

Download at: FileHippo

Note: Caution is the keyword here. Working with critical system files may cause system errors, or failure. If you are not familiar with these issues, seek help from an advanced user.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Software, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

9 responses to “Unlocker Windows Explorer Extension Handles Locked Files Easily

  1. Grr

    Thanks Bill.

    Unlocker had never let me down.


  2. Dave K

    Hi Bill

    I used Unlocker for years, until it was identified as a virus by my security software. I decided to play safe and remove it.

    Dave K

    • Hi Dave,

      I agree, it’s always best to play it safe, but in this case Unlocker wasn’t, and isn’t, malware. The author addresses this issue in a Blog posting – The poor state of so-called security solutions, (http://ccollomb.free.fr/blog/?p=69), an excellent article on the problem of false positives. False positives, continue to be a major problem with many antimalware solutions.



      • Dave K

        Cheers Bill. I guess I’ll reinstall it. I’ve changed my antivirus several times since then, anyway. Unfortunately, the link you gave me was ironically blocked by my Hosts file – managed by Hostsman, yet another layer of security. I overrode it… 🙂

        Dave K

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  4. Braveheart

    Malwarebytes Free FileAssassin – Delete Locked Files, according to that comparison chart doesn’t measure up. Seemed like a simple enough tool though. Doesn’t CCLEANER wipe dat. file info? So woud File Assassin with use of CLEANER be sufficient in most situations? For the layperson that is…

    • Hi Braveheart,

      CCleaner does wipe .dat files, as you point out.

      Unlocker on the other hand, is a broad based file unlocker designed for specially purposes. It’s probably safe to say, that most average users would have little need, if any, for a tool like this.