ForceDelete For Stubborn Files

ForceDelete is a XP and newer compatible software which helps users when they encounter an undeletable file.

Anecdotally this has become a rarer occurrence in the Windows 10 era but there are times when Windows displays a “The action can’t be completed because the file is open…”, “Cannot delete File: Access is denied” or similar error when attempting to delete a file. In those instances it is not clear which application is using the undeletable file. Perhaps a system file or application that has been uninstalled poorly.

ForceDelete comes to the rescue. It is available in a portable format besides the usual executable so it can be used and archived or deleted. It should work for any kind of file including program exe files. Additionally it offers to securely delete a file, an option that may be welcome but seems like an unrelated extra.

The program can be invoked in the command line with the forcedelete.exe [file1name] [file2name] etc. format and includes an option to add Unlock and Delete options to the right click context menu.

The exe is a less than 1MB download and the portable is just 345KB unzipped. The program is freeware, from the same author as the AutoClose program open and close scheduler.


  1. Thanks. I used use (I think it was called) Unlocker on my last machine. As you say, this isn’t needed as much on Windows 10, but I did have need lately. Portable sounds good — will try this.

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