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How to Delete a File or Folder that Can’t Be Deleted, Is Write-Protected or Can’t Be Accessed?

Do you have a problem when you can’t delete a folder or several files from your PC or laptop? Does Windows show you an “access denied” error? It can happen due to various causes when you delete, edit or overwrite files. Read this article to find out how to delete a file or folder that can’t be deleted because of write protection, denied access, virus infection or opening a file in an unknown program.

How to Delete a File or Folder that Can’t Be Deleted, Is Write-Protected or Can’t Be Accessed?

Contents:

The disk is write-protected

If you try to delete a file or folder from a pen drive, memory card or a hard disk and see the message saying The disk is write-protected, it means some sort of protection against writing data is set up for such disk.

The disk is write-protected

Could not find this item

If you get this kind of message when deleting a file or folder: Could not find this item. Verify the item’s location and try again, there might be several causes behind this problem:

  • A system error (a glitch concerning rights to the file or folder which you are trying to delete; a problem with the name of such file or folder: it might be either too long or contain certain symbols which cause a conflict when the operating system tries to remove the item etc).

  • The computer could be infected by a virus.

    Could not find this item

In such a situation, try deleting the problem-plagued file or folder with the following utilities:

If using the programs that we listed above couldn’t help you, boot the computer in the safe mode and try removing the file or folder in such a way. If the cause of file blocking is a virus, in most cases you can delete the files without any additional actions.

Safe Mode

You have no rights to modify files

If Windows says you don’t have the necessary rights to modify files, then you need to use the administrator’s account to be able to delete or edit the file. Sign in with the administrator’s rights. There is no other way to do it…

Microsoft WordMicrosoft Word

A file or folder cannot be deleted because it is opened in another program

If Windows displays a message that a file or folder cannot be deleted because it is opened in another program, remember the name of such program and do the following:

Microsoft Word
  1. Press the key shortcut Windows + r.

  2. In the Run window, type in “resmon.exe” and press Enter.

    resmon.exe
  3. In the tab “Overview” find the program that prevents you from deleting the file or folder, right-click on it and select End process. Repeat this step, if the name of the program is shown several times in the tab “Overview.”

    Overview
  4. Try deleting the files again.

If you couldn’t delete the files or folders in any of the ways, describe your situation and ask questions in comments.

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