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I bet you have seen the following Windows error message quite a lot :


That is enough to make you want to rip your hair out in frustration. You want to move, rename or delete a file in your hard drive but you can’t because, according to your lovely Windows operating system, the file is “currently being used by another person or program”. The chances are though that actually the program is locked up in some obscure system process that will take forever and a day to clear. Meanwhile you want to do something to that file immediately and not be a slave to Bill Gates by waiting for Windows to tell YOU when it’s ready. That’s where Unlocker will rapidly become your best buddy.

After installing it, it integrates itself into your right-click Windows Explorer menu. Then when you get the dreaded “file is currently being used by another person or program” error box, just do the following to show that operating system who the real boss is :


Right-click on the offending file, choose “Unlocker”. The following box will then pop up :



You will then get a list of all the system processes holding your file in place. You can then kill or unlock the offending processes (although as far as I can see, both options achieve the same goal) or you can tell Unlocker you want to delete, move or rename the file and Unlocker will do it for you. If you want to delete, and for some reason Unlocker can’t delete it right away, it will schedule itself to delete it automatically when your PC next boots up.

The program is free, small and constantly updated. It’s an absolute dream when your Windows OS decides to start playing up and you’re about to smash something in frustration. Unlocker should be part of everyone’s computer set-up.

  1. Dennis Gillespie
    September 3, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    great stuff

  2. mark
    August 31, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    @Aibek : You won't end up with a missing system file. All Unlocker does is stops the system process holding that file in place. It doesn't delete that system process from the PC or tamper with the process's system files in any way. It just forces the process to stop so you can do what you want to with the file in question. In the 3 years I have used it, it has worked 100%.

  3. Aibek
    August 31, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah, sometimes deleting files can be a huge HEADACHE. Unlocker seems like a good solution. Although you should be careful with it, you don't want to endup with missing system file.

  4. surfmadpig
    August 31, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    "Unlocker should be part of everyone’s computer set-up."
    I couldn't agree more.

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