How to Unlock Shared Files


If you’ve seen this error message…


…or any of these:

  • 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.

I’m sure you can identify how frustrating it can be not to be able to move, copy, rename or delete those files!

Unlocker is a free tool which helps locate any file locking handles running, and give you the option to turn it off.  Then you can go ahead and do anything you want with those files.

It’s that simple :)

1,018 Replies to “How to Unlock Shared Files”

  1. @davidlian:Ouch – overzealous IT dept I guess…
    @lucky v: Thanks for the tip – I’m sure the advanced users will love this!
    @A.Faith: That’s it… I’m gonna install a Ubuntu dual boot on my new system :)

  2. Note that Unlocker v1.8.7 (the latest version as of 02/10/2009) does not work with 64-bit versions of Vista -OR- XP as per the author’s website FAQ.

    The installation routine will appear to work fine in Vista 64-bit, and the ‘magic wand’ icon appears in the notification bar implying that the program is running, but the right-click menu option does not show up.

    Bummer – best freeware program out there. Hope the author can crack the 64-bit secret, as I truly miss being able to use this fine utility.

  3. Is there any way to locate any file locking handles running without installing this software? There should be a way for this, I bet.

    Ethan Lee

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