- 1 Delete a file
- 2 How to Permanently and Securely Delete Files on Windows 10
- 3 What happens when you delete a file?
- 4 Fix your Windows PC issues with Avast Cleanup
- 5 How to delete Files and Folders in Windows 11/10
- 5.1 1] Using Context Menu – Right-clicking on the File or Folder
- 5.2 2] Using Keyboard Shortcut –Deletekey
- 5.3 3] Using Keyboard Shortcut –Shift+Deletekey
- 5.4 4] DragDrop to Recycle Bin
- 5.5 5] Using File Explorer Ribbon
- 5.6 6] Using PowerShell
- 5.7 7] Using Command Prompt
- 5.8 8] Permanently Delete Files Using Specialized Software
- 6 How to securely and completely delete files in Windows 10 without third-party software
- 7 How to securely and completely delete files in Windows 10
- 8 How to use SDelete
- 9 Proactive security
- 10 Also read
- 11 How to Force Delete a File That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 10
- 12 Can’t Delete a File or Folder in Windows 10?
- 13 How to Force Delete a File/Folder That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 10
- 14 How to Recover Mistakenly Deleted Files from Windows 10 Computer
- 15 How to Force Delete a File FAQ
- 16 Delete These Windows Files and Folders to Free Up Disk Space
- 17 The Best Way to Clean Windows Folders: Disk Cleanup
- 18 1. The Hibernation File
- 19 2. Windows Temp Folder
- 20 3. The Recycle Bin
- 21 4. Windows.old Folder
- 22 5. Downloaded Program Files
- 23 6. LiveKernelReports
- 24 7. Rempl Folder
- 25 These Windows Folders Can Be Deleted
- 26 How to Delete Files and Folders Using Command Prompt on Windows 10
- 27 Delete Files with Command Prompt on Windows 10
- 28 Delete Folders with Command Prompt on Windows 10
- 29 Various Uses of the Del Command
- 30 Here’s how to ensure no-one can get back sensitive files you’ve deleted
- 31 How do I permanently delete a file?
- 32 How to delete files securely with Eraser
- 33 Can’t Delete Files: How to Delete Files That Cannot Be Deleted
- 34 Why Can’t I Delete the Files on Windows 11/10/8/7
- 35 Method 1. Force to Delete a File That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 11/10
- 36 Method 2. Delete the File/Folder with Command Prompt
- 37 Method 3. Enter Safe Mode to Unlock and Delete Files
- 38 Method 4. Delete File that Cannot Be Deleted Using a Third-party Tool
- 39 Bonus Tips – How to Recover Deleted Files or Folders
- 40 How to Delete Files that Cannot Be Deleted FAQs
- 41 Conclusion
Delete a file
Using the Windows File Explorer is the most efficient method of deleting your files.
Delete a file by using File Explorer
- Create a new window in File Explorer. A simple shortcut to open File Explorer is to hit the Windows Key+E combination. Locate the file that you wish to remove and click on it. Select the file and press the Delete key on your keyboard, or click the Delete button on the Hometab of the ribbon
Tip: You may pick many files to be erased at the same time if you want to save time. While selecting numerous files to remove, keep the CTRL key down and held down. Click the first item in the list, hold down the SHIFT key, and then click the final file in the list to choose a lengthy list of files at one time. More information may be found at: Delete a file using the File Explorer.
Remove a file from your recently used list in an Office program
In order to preserve the file but have it removed from your frequently used files list, follow these instructions:
- Locate the file that you wish to remove and click on it. Remove the file from the list by selecting it using the right-click menu.
Please read the following link for further information on changing the list of recently used files: Customize the list of recently used files. You may remove files in Office 2010, Office 2007, and Office 2003 from inside the Office apps or by using the Windows Explorer program.
Delete a file while in an Office program
- Alternatively, click theFileOpen button in Office 2010 or the Microsoft Office Button, and then clickOpen in Office 2007
- Locate the file that you wish to remove and click on it. To delete a file, right-click it and select Delete from the shortcut menu. Tip: You may pick many files to be erased at the same time if you want to save time. While selecting numerous files to remove, keep the CTRL key down and held down. Click the first item in the list, press and hold SHIFT, and then click the final file in the list to pick a large number of files at the same time.
Delete a file by using Windows Explorer
- Open the Windows Explorer program. Windows Explorer may be accessed quickly by using the Windows Key+E combination. Locate the file that you wish to remove and click on it. Right-click the file and select Delete from the shortcut menu that appears.
More information may be found at: Delete a file using the File Explorer.
How to Permanently and Securely Delete Files on Windows 10
To permanently delete files on Windows, move them to the Recycle Bin and then empty the Recycle Bin to ensure that they are completely removed from the system. Once the recycle bin is completely depleted, you will be unable to retrieve the files unless you have data or file recovery tools on hand. Even then, though, there is no assurance that the recovery software will be successful. Continue reading to find out about further methods for permanently removing Windows files from your computer.
Use Keyboard shortcuts to delete files
By choosing a file and hitting the Shift+Delete key combination, you can avoid using the Recycle Bin (holding down the Shift key and then pressing the Delete key). To permanently remove files on Windows, you can only use keyboard shortcuts, as demonstrated below:
- To highlight a file, simply click on it once. If the file has been saved directly to your desktop, simply double-click on it to open it. Alternatively, locate it in Windows File Explorer and click on it to highlight it. While holding down the Shift key, tap the Delete key. (Keep in mind that the Backspace key and the Delete key are not the same thing.) On the pop-up box that appears, select Yes.
This demonstrates how to remove files from Windows without having to use the Recycle Bin. When you use keyboard shortcuts to delete files, you don’t have to worry about emptying the Recycle Bin since the files are actually deleted. There are several instances where files that you believe have been permanently destroyed are really still recoverable. This is due to the fact that Windows does not erase the space on the drive that was previously occupied by the file and replace it with a blank slate.
It is possible that it will be erased by anything you do quickly thereafter, or that the disk space will remain available for much longer.
Data shredder programs are particularly useful for erasing temporary files, where sensitive information such as credit card numbers may be kept, and ensuring that erased files cannot be restored at any time.
Use the File Explorer Ribbon to delete files
In Windows, you may remove files by navigating to the File Explorer, which is the folder that contains all of your documents.
To remove a file, locate it in the Windows File Explorer and click on the Delete button in the Ribbon menu. Here’s how it’s done:
- To access Windows File Explorer, click on the folder icon on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, or press the Windows Key+E on your keyboard. Navigate to your file and double-click it to make it visible
- SelectPermanently delete from the File Explorer Ribbon at the top of the window, or click the arrow beneath the Delete option and selectPermanently delete from the context menu. When you click Delete, the item is sent to the Recycle Bin, but when you choose Permanently delete, the file is permanently removed from your computer.
Use Powershell to delete files
Those with more sophisticated skills can permanently erase files by employing Powershell or the Windows Command Prompt. The following is an example of how to remove files using Powershell:
- In the Start Menu at the bottom of your screen, type “powershell” to get started. If Windows PowerShell is highlighted, press Enter, or choose the Windows PowerShell option from the drop-down menu. To remove an item from the list, typeRemove-Item -path c:-recurseand hit Enter. Delete everything in the folder, including any files and folders contained within it
- This will remove everything from the computer.
Use software tools to delete files
Some software applications will erase files after they have reached the point of no recovery. Some programs that you may use to permanently erase files or completely wipe a folder clean are listed below.
- Avast Data Shredder, which is a built-in function of Avast Premium Security
- And Avast Anti-Virus are also included.
File shredding software makes use of random data to overwrite the area on your hard drive where the file was previously stored. In such case, if someone attempts to recover files or data from that space, they will only discover random information. Despite the numerous wiping methods available, just a single overwriting pass is required. However, if you want to be extra careful, file shredding tools have the capability of overwriting files with random data many times. The use of data shredder tools is the most secure method of deleting data since data recovery is virtually impossible once it has been deleted.
Another method of deleting a file is to right-click on it, either on your desktop if it is kept there or in your File Explorer if it is located there. The following is an example of how to remove a file by right-clicking it:
- Obtain access to the folder in which the file is kept
- Delete the file by selecting it with the right-click menu.
Right-clicking files and selecting “Delete” sends them to the Recycle Bin without any further action. To permanently erase all of the files currently in your Recycling Bin, minimize all of your active windows, right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop, and selectEmpty Recycle Bin from the context menu.
What happens when you delete a file?
Emptying the trash bin on your computer is not sufficient for completely erasing the data contained within such files. Anyone who has access to your hard drive may still readily recover files or other data from your Recycling Bin if they know where it is located on your computer. When you sell, lend, or give over your computer to someone to repair, make sure to completely clean the machine. If you use an Apple computer, you should read our article on how to permanently erase files on an Apple computer.
Let’s take a look at what occurs within each type of drive when you delete a file to better understand why anyone who has access to your hard disk may recover the data contained within your deleted files.
When you remove a file from a hard disk drive (HDD), Windows partitions off the space that the file used and marks the area as overwritable for future use by other programs. However, the data is remains there in that place until it is overwritten by new data. Even after you’ve defragged your computer, such files might remain on your computer for an extremely lengthy period of time.
And if you’re concerned about data security and privacy, make sure to get one of the best security applications for your smartphone, as well as powerful PC cleaning software for your desktop computer.
Solid-state drives (SSDs) operate on a completely different file storage system than hard disk drives (HDDs). Because the technology can only sustain a certain number of writes, SSDs spread data across the disk, continually condensing it to make the most of available capacity. On solid-state drives, data is constantly being transferred around, increasing the likelihood that portions of a file may survive. Newer SSDs have a technology known as TRIM, which overwrites lost data, resulting in less data being left behind after a deletion.
Secure Erase now has a new function that takes use of SSDs that have been encrypted.
Find out more about the differences between SSDs and hard drives by visiting this page.
Fix your Windows PC issues with Avast Cleanup
While deleting old data from your hard drive is a beneficial feature, it will have no impact on the overall speed of your computer. In order to thoroughly optimize your computer, you’ll need a tool that can remove garbage, bloatware, and unneeded apps from your system. Using Avast Cleanupper, you can do regular, automated maintenance on your computer, allowing it to run more efficiently. In addition to clearing temporary browser and cache files, upgrading your applications, defragmenting your hard drive, and many other tasks, you should also consider It’s the ideal computer tune-up utility to keep your computer working as smoothly as the day you first installed it on your system.
How to delete Files and Folders in Windows 11/10
You may frequently discover files and folders on your computer that are undesired or useless, and you may choose to delete them. By deleting these files or folders, you may free up more space on your computer, which is always a positive development. In this post, which is intended for beginners, we will teach you how to remove files and folders in Windows 11/10, either permanently or temporarily, using keyboard shortcuts, File Explorer, PowerShell, Command Prompt, specialist software, and other methods.
There are several methods for deleting files and folders in Windows 11/10, including permanently deleting them and temporarily deleting them:
- Context Menu – right-clicking on the file or folder
- Using Keyboard Shortcuts – Deletekey
- Using Keyboard Shortcuts – Shift+Deletekey
- Using the Deletekey Keyboard Shortcut DragDrop the item into the Recycle Bin. Using the File Explorer Ribbon
- Using PowerShell
- Using the Command Prompt
- Using Specialized Software
- Using the File Explorer Ribbon
Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
1] Using Context Menu – Right-clicking on the File or Folder
When you right-click on any file or folder on which you wish to perform a Cut, Copy, Paste, Rename, Delete, or Share operation, you will no longer see any of the choices listed in the text of the command. Instead of this, you will see icons shown at the top (or bottom) of the context menu, as seen in the figure on the right. These icons represent the following: To remove a file or folder, you must first select it and then click on the Bin icon.
To delete files or folders using the Context Menu, first choose the file(s) or folder(s) you desire to remove from your computer. Right-click on it and select the ‘Delete’ option from the pop-up box that appears after clicking on it. All of the objects that were selected are transferred to the Recycle Bin, where they are temporarily removed but may be retrieved if necessary.
If you remove a folder that contains other files or folders, you will be deleting everything included within that folder, so make sure you examine everything thoroughly before you do so.
2] Using Keyboard Shortcut –Deletekey
When utilizing the Context Menu to delete files or folders, first choose the file(s) or folder(s) that you want to remove from your computer. Choose the ‘Delete’ option from the pop-up menu that appears when you right-click on it. All of the objects that were selected are transferred to the Recycle Bin, where they are temporarily erased and can be retrieved if necessary. In the case of a folder that contains other files or folders, the contents of the folder will be deleted as well; thus, double-check your work before deleting the folder in question.
3] Using Keyboard Shortcut –Shift+Deletekey
To remove files or folders without sending them to the Recycle Bin, select the objects you want to delete and hit the ‘Shift+Delete’ key combination on your keyboard. This will permanently erase the files that have been chosen. These erased files may only be retrieved or restored utilizing specialized software such as Recuva in such a situation.
4] DragDrop to Recycle Bin
This is a straightforward technique of removing the file(s) or folder in question (s). All that is required is that you pick the file and drag and drop it into the Recycle Bin.
5] Using File Explorer Ribbon
This approach will show you how to remove file(s) or folder(s) either temporarily or permanently from the File Explorer Ribbon by using the Home Menu command. To begin, launch File Explorer (by pressing the Windows key + E) and go to the location of the files that will be erased. Then, tap or pick the files that you want to delete from your computer. In Windows 11, you may delete a file or folder by clicking on the BIn symbol. In Windows 10, select the ‘Home’ tab from the Ribbon at the top of the screen.
When you click on the recycle icon, the file will be removed from your computer and placed in the Recycle Bin.
A confirmation dialog box will display, asking whether you are sure you want to delete this file permanently.
To proceed, select ‘Yes’ from the drop-down menu.
6] Using PowerShell
If you are unable to delete a file or folder from your computer, you may use Windows PowerShell to quickly and easily delete any file or folder from your computer. The benefit of utilizing PowerShell is that you may compel the deletion of a file as well as the removal of all things from within a folder.
7] Using Command Prompt
Using the DEL or RD commands, you may easily delete files and directories from the Command Prompt window.
8] Permanently Delete Files Using Specialized Software
There is specialist software available that will permanently remove undesired data from your Windows 10 computer, and these files will not be recoverable by any file recovery program. Eraser, WipeFile, Freeraser, File Shredder, Alternate File Shredder, and other data wiping applications are examples of such programs. In order to utilize these applications, you often have to download and install them first.
These programs completely erase all of the files and folders that have been chosen, and they cannot be restored by any specialist recovery software. It is possible to remove File(s) and Folder(s) in Windows 11/10 using any of the methods listed above.
How to securely and completely delete files in Windows 10 without third-party software
When you delete a file in Windows 10, the file is not actually deleted. Deleted files must be entirely rewritten more than once in order to comply with security best practices. Image courtesy of vbacarin via Getty Images/iStockphoto. Microsoft Windows 10 moves files and directories that have been deleted to a special area known as the Recycle Bin in most cases. A file can be recovered from the Recycle Bin and restored to its previous state if you so want. On order to permanently remove a file in Windows 10, you must first empty the Recycle Bin, which is something that most users are already familiar with.
It is necessary to replace the relevant memory sectors on your storage device with fresh data in order to safely and fully erase a file on your computer.
An overview of the SDelete utility, including how to download and install it, as well as how to use it in Windows 10.
CHECK OUT: Windows 10 May 2019 Update: 10 Notable New Functions (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
How to securely and completely delete files in Windows 10
SDelete is a command-line application developed by Sysinternals, which you may obtain for free from Microsoft. In this folder on your operating system’s hard disk, commonly Drive C.C:WindowsSystem32, extract the two executable files (Figure A) that were included in the ZIP file. “Figure A is credited with the following data: data-credit=”Figure A”> Figure A Locating the.exe files in the System32 folder will provide you with access to the application regardless of where your deleted files are placed on your computer.
However, best practices and corporate standards may demand a more strict approach to follow.
Three passes should be sufficient in the vast majority of circumstances, but you should always adhere to the policies of the company in question.
How to use SDelete
To use the SDelete program, first open an administrative-level command prompt (Figure B) by right-clicking the Start button and selecting “Open command prompt as administrator.” “Figure B is credited as follows: data-credit=”Figure B”> Figure B Fill in the blanks with your SDelete command at the prompt (Figure C). Using recursed subdirectories, the following would be the command-line input for three passes in silent mode with the following subdirectories: sdelete -p 3 -r -q sdelete C:SensitiveData ” data-credit=”Figure C” data-source=” “Figure C (insert caption here) Please keep in mind that the SDelete program does not really destroy files; rather, it just overwrites the memory sectors of files that are currently stored on the storage device but have already been erased.
Consider the following example: if you were to enter the SDelete command into your prompt while specifying the clean free space parameter, the utility would overwrite all of the previously deleted files on the D: drive while having no effect on any existing active files currently stored on the D: drive.
sdelete -c D is a command that deletes everything.
However, despite the fact that the SDelete utility is a command-line tool, it is not overly difficult for the majority of users to deploy at the system level. When you combine that with the fact that the program will not cause any damage to existing files, there is really no reason not to use it unless you have already implemented a security solution. Because erased files weren’t securely and totally replaced, the option of allowing critical data to possibly be retrieved might be extremely expensive.
Microsoft Weekly Newsletter
By reading these Windows and Office tips, tricks, and cheat sheets, you may become the Microsoft insider for your workplace. Deliveries are made on Mondays and Wednesdays. Sign up for a membership today.
- Technology Review explains how to enable dark mode in any Windows application (Windows 10 May 2019 Update). (TechRepublic) 10 ideas for dealing with an online impostor
- 20 expert suggestions to customize Windows 10 to function the way you want (available as a free PDF download from TechRepublic)
- One in every ten tech employees intends to steal firm knowledge before leaving their current position (TechRepublic)
- (TechRepublic Premium) Windows 10 security for business leaders: a handbook for IT professionals. What if the Windows 10 October update deletes all of your files? This tool (ZDNet) may be able to retrieve them. The best antivirus protection for Windows 10 in 2019 according to CNET
- More must-read Microsoft news and insights are available on Flipboard (TechRepublic).
How to Force Delete a File That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 10
If you are unable to remove a file or folder in Windows 10, read this post for information on how to delete files that are not able to be deleted in your Windows 10 computer and the three methods described in it. There is a detailed step-by-step instruction included. MiniToolprovides the professional free data recovery software that can be used to recover accidentally deleted files or lost data from a Windows 10 computer or from other storage media.
Can’t Delete a File or Folder in Windows 10?
When trying to remove a file or folder in Windows 10, you may encounter the following issue: no matter how many times you try to delete the file or folder, nothing happens. What is the best way to delete files that are unable to be deleted? How can I force a file to be deleted from my Windows 10 computer? It is common for Windows 10 computers to identify a file as locked if it is being opened or utilized by another application or program. This means that you will not be able to delete, alter, or transfer the file.
The file unlock procedure, however, may not always be effective, resulting in the file deletion action being unable to be completed and a warning message stating that the file is now being used by another software being displayed instead.
Tip:MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a professional data recovery program that allows you to effortlessly recover any accidentally deleted or lost files from a Windows computer, an external hard drive, a USB drive, a memory/SD card, an SSD, or any other storage device with a Windows operating system.
Everything is completely clean and safe.
How to Force Delete File or Folder in Windows 10? – Quick Guide
- Open a Command Prompt with elevated privileges in Windows 10. Typeedel + file pathcommand, then press Enter to forcibly delete the file
- Typermdir /s /q + folder directory, then press Enter to force delete the folder in Windows 10
How to Force Delete a File/Folder That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 10
What is the best way to delete a file or folder that won’t erase in Windows 10? Normally, you may start by following the simple procedures outlined below.
- If the file cannot be removed the first time, close all apps and programs on your Windows 10 computer and try again to see if it can be erased
- Close the File Explorer window. You may open Task Manager by clicking Start-Type-Task Manager and selecting Task Manager from the drop-down menu. – To close Windows Explorer, locate it and right-click on it, then select End task from the context menu. Many difficulties can be resolved by restarting Windows 10 on occasion. To test if the file can be successfully erased, you may try rebooting your Windows 10 machine and deleting it again. You may also run a virus scan to determine whether or not your Windows 10 PC is infected with a virus. Examine the file’s property. Check to see that the file or disk is not set to read-only mode. Related: how to remove write protection from an SD card, USB device, or hard drive, among other things
You can continue to use the three methods listed below to force delete files or folders that are not capable of being removed if none of the five procedures listed above have made a difference.
Method 1. Force Delete Files/Folders Using CMD
Can’t seem to remove a file? You can try using the Command Prompt to delete files or folders that are not able to be deleted using the Windows 10 interface. How to use the “DEL” command to remove a file by force: Step 1.To open the Windows Command Prompt as an administrator, use the Windows+R keys on the keyboard, type cmd, and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on the keyboard. Step number two. Afterwards, enter the command line and press Enter to force delete the file on Windows 10 using the CMD command prompt.
- “c:usersalisadesktoptest.txt” should be changed to point to the location of the target text file.
- You can view the path of a file by right-clicking it and selectingProperties from the context menu.
- Replace “E:test” with the path of the folder you want to test.
- Activate your Windows 11 computer or laptop in seconds.
Method 2. Use Safe Mode to Unlock and Delete Files
If you are unable to remove a file, you may try restarting Windows 10 in safe mode, which will allow you to unlock and delete that file. to launch the Windows recovery environment, go to Start -Settings —Update Security —Recovery —Restart now (under Advanced Startup), and follow the on-screen instructions. Step 2: Select Troubleshoot -Advanced options -Startup Settings -Restart from the drop-down menu. Step 3.On the Startup Settings window, you can choose to boot into safe mode in Windows 10 by pressing F4 or F5.
5.Restart Windows 10 and your machine will automatically exit Safe Mode with Networking.
On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced the availability of the first Insider Preview of Windows 11.
Method 3. Use Shift + Delete to Force Delete File/Folder
You may remove a file or folder permanently by selecting it and pressing the Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut while holding down the Shift key. This technique of file deletion will not be accepted by the Recycle Bin. It is important to note that this tutorial does not cover the topic of removing Windows system files. Windows system files are typically safeguarded against being deleted by the operating system. Deleting system files may result in problems with your Windows 10 computer’s operating system.
Alternatively, if the file is corrupted or your Windows 10 computer claims that it cannot locate the file, you may try running the disk repair procedure to see if it can resolve the issue and restore the corrupted system files to their original locations. Quick Video Instructions:
How to Recover Mistakenly Deleted Files from Windows 10 Computer
With regard to how to force remove a file or folder that cannot be erased on Windows 10, we hope the methods provided in this post are of use. In the event that you accidentally delete a necessary file on your Windows 10 computer, we have also included an easyfile undeletemethod, which is to utilize professional data recovery software to effortlessly recover lost files from your Windows 10 computer. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a simple data recovery application for the Windows operating system.
- MiniTool Power Data Recovery may be used to recover data from a variety of different types of data loss circumstances.
- Download it for free.
- Then, in the right-hand box, you may select the precise partition on your computer that contains your deleted data.
- Alternatively, if you just want to scan and recover particular types of files, you may select the file type from the Settings menu before clicking the Scan button.
- Once the scanning process is complete, you may review the scan results to see whether any of your accidentally deleted files were discovered.
- Learn how to update Windows 11/10 to ensure that your computer or laptop is running at peak performance by downloading and installing the most recent updates.
How to Force Delete a File FAQ
What is the best way to remove a file that cannot be deleted? You may use the Command Prompt to force delete a file that is not able to be removed on Windows 10 by following the steps outlined in this post. What is the best way to remove a folder by force? At Windows 10, you may use thedelcommand in the CMD prompt to remove a folder by force. There are thorough instructions for using the CMD to remove a folder provided in this guide. What is the best way to remove a file that will not be deleted by Windows 10?
Why am I unable to remove folders?
You can restart your computer by closing all open apps.
Delete These Windows Files and Folders to Free Up Disk Space
A large number of files and folders are present in Windows that you do not require. When there are hidden caches, old garbage that takes up space, and items you can delete to really address problems, figuring out what’s safe to remove from Windows may be difficult. Consider the following examples of Windows files and folders that are completely safe to delete, as well as the reasons why you would wish to do so.
This will assist you in freeing up disk space as well as learning more about your computer. Please keep in mind that some of these folders are in password-protected places, so use caution before removing them.
The Best Way to Clean Windows Folders: Disk Cleanup
First and foremost, you should be aware that manually deleting files and folders from your computer is not always the most effective method of removing them. Beyond the fact that you’ll waste time doing this manually when you could automate the process, it’s better to let the Disk Cleanup program handle these cleaning tasks for you. This prevents you from mistakenly deleting files that you need or from fiddling with the wrong directories when using Windows Explorer. The Windows Disk Cleanup application assists you in reclaiming disk space on your computer and is straightforward to utilize.
Allow it to scan your computer, and you’ll see many types of files that you may delete.
For those who find Windows 10’s improved storage cleanup tool to be too clumsy, you may navigate toSettingsSystemStorage to give it a shot instead.
What to Delete From Disk Cleanup
First and foremost, you should be aware that manually removing files and folders from your computer is not always the most effective method of doing so. Other than wasting time by doing these tasks manually when you could automate them, it is better to let the Disk Cleanup program handle these tasks. This prevents you from mistakenly deleting files that you need or from meddling with the wrong directories when you are working. The Windows Disk Cleanup program is a straightforward utility for reclaiming disk space on your PC.
You’ll get a list of types of files you may delete after you’ve allowed it to scan your computer.
It’s possible to use Windows 10’s modern storage cleaning tool instead of this clumsy UI if you find this one too awkward.
- Windows Update Cleanup: This utility removes old copies of Windows Update files from the system. In most circumstances, you may safely remove these files, but you should save them for debugging purposes if you encounter update-related difficulties. Windows upgrade log files include the following: In a similar vein, these are data files that Windows Update retains in order to assist you in troubleshooting problems associated with upgrades or installs. If you haven’t had any problems while upgrading to a new version of Windows, you can delete these entries. Files including language resources: The ability to simply delete past downloads will allow you to easily remove any language or keyboard layout that you aren’t currently using. Recycle Bin (or Recyclable Container): While you may empty the Recycle Bin using its own window, you can also do it quickly and conveniently through this window. Ensure that it does not include anything essential to your survival. Temporary files are those that are kept for a short period of time. Temporary files, as their name implies, aren’t utilized for anything in the long run, therefore you can safely delete them without causing harm.
Now, let’s take a look at what you may safely erase off your Windows 10 computer.
1. The Hibernation File
The following is the location: C: hiberfil.sys Hibernation mode on your computer is identical to sleep mode, with the exception that the system saves all of your open work to the storage drive before shutting down completely. You can turn off your laptop and leave it in hibernation for a week, then turn it back on and pick up just where you left off when you return. Of course, this takes up disk space, which is exactly what the hibernation file is intended to do. The hibernation file is potentially several gigabytes or more in size, depending on the capacity of your hard disk.
It is important to note that you should not just remove hiberfil.sys since Windows will rebuild it.
To turn off hibernation, type the following command into your terminal: powercfg.exe /hibernate off (Power Configuration Utility) That is all that is required to turn off hibernation.
It should be noted that removing hibernation mode would also prohibit your computer from enjoying the quick starting feature in Windows 10. However, this isn’t much of a loss because this functionality has been known to create delayed boot times and other issues in certain cases.
2. Windows Temp Folder
C:WindowsTemporary Internet Files The term suggests that Windows temporary files aren’t vital once they’ve been used, and this is correct. The information included in the files and directories contained therein was formerly required by Windows, but is no longer required by it. Instead of cleaning your computer with Disk Cleanup. In order to manually delete the contents of this folder, you can go to the location specified above. Simply use the keys Ctrl + At to select everything within, then hit the Delete key.
3. The Recycle Bin
Shell:RecycleBinFolder is the location of this folder. In Windows, the Recycle Bin is a separate folder; while it appears under yourC: drive, it is secured by Windows and you do not need to access it using that method. When you remove a file from your computer, Windows automatically moves it to the Recycle Bin. This is a specific location where deleted files are stored until they are either permanently removed or restored to their original location. While this may seem clear to you, we’re included it in case there are any who aren’t aware of what we’re talking about.
- The Recycle Bin may be accessed by double-clicking on the Recycle Bin shortcut on your desktop.
- Once you’ve arrived, you’ll be able to see anything you’ve lately removed.
- Empty the Recycle Bin and Restore all objects at once are both available from the Recycle Bin Toolstab on the top Ribbon’s Toolsbar.
- You may modify the maximum size of the Recycle Bin from this menu, and you can even opt to prevent files from being moved to the Recycle Bin.
- Because the Recycle Bin provides you with a second opportunity in the event of an inadvertent deletion, we do not encourage doing so.
4. Windows.old Folder
The following is the location: C: Windows.old When you update your Windows version, the system creates a backup copy of your previous data, which is referred to as Windows.old. In the event that anything did not transfer successfully, this folder will include everything that was previously part of your old installation. If it becomes essential, you can utilize this folder to restore your computer to an earlier version of Microsoft Windows. Additionally, you may access the folder and take a few stray files if you require them.
If you try to delete it using the File Explorer, it will not work, so go to the Start Menu and typeDisk Cleanupinto the search box to open the utility as mentioned before.
Once that is completed, use this utility to locate and erase any previous Windows installations that may have occurred.
Obviously, deleting these files makes it more difficult to recover data in the event of a problem. After doing a Windows upgrade (even if it is only to the most recent version of Windows 10), we recommend that you keep this folder until you are certain that everything is functioning properly.
5. Downloaded Program Files
Downloaded program files are stored in the C:WindowsDownloaded Program Files directory. The name of this folder is a little difficult to understand. It really contains files that are needed by Internet Explorer’s ActiveX controls and Java applets, which means that if you use the same feature on a website repeatedly, you won’t have to download it twice in the first place. In practice, this folder is no longer useful nowadays. On the web today, ActiveX is an incredibly ancient technology that is riddled with security flaws, while Java is all but dead on the platform.
The majority of home users no longer use Internet Explorer, let alone ActiveX.
The location is C:Windows. LiveKernelReports While searching for huge files on your computer, you may come across the LiveKernelReports folder, which is another location that you should be aware of. Dump files are stored in this folder, and they are information logs that Windows retains on a continuous basis. If you encounter a problem with your computer, you may examine the contents of these files to begin resolving the issue at the root of the problem. It is safe to remove any large files ending with the DMPfile extension that are located in this location.
When Windows crashes or you have other serious computer difficulties, save these dump files and do not delete them straight away.
7. Rempl Folder
Program Files (C:Program Files). rempl Despite the fact that theRemplfolder isn’t particularly huge, you could be astonished when it appears on your PC. This folder includes a number of little files, and you may even detect a couple of Task Manager processes that are associated to it. This folder is associated with the distribution of Windows 10 updates. It features “reliability enhancements” that will aid in the efficient operation of Windows 10 upgrades as well as the resolution of compatibility concerns.
There do not appear to be any negative consequences to doing so.
These Windows Folders Can Be Deleted
It may take a little searching, but Windows contains a large number of files and directories that aren’t required. Remember that your computer does an excellent job of keeping itself clean, so you shouldn’t feel compelled to incessantly erase the contents of these folders unless you’re running out of space on your hard drive. In most cases, using the Disk Cleanup program once or twice a month will be sufficient to keep the cruft at bay. To free up even more space, consider deleting some unused Windows applications from your computer’s hard drive.
Trying to figure out which Windows 10 programs to uninstall?
In 2016, he quit his IT career to pursue writing full-time, and he hasn’t looked back since. He has been working as a professional writer for almost seven years, covering topics such as technology lessons, video game recommendations, and more. Ben Stegner has more to say.
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How to Delete Files and Folders Using Command Prompt on Windows 10
If you prefer command-line approaches, Windows 10 has a few of commands that can assist you in deleting your files and folders from a Command Prompt window if you choose. We’ll walk you through the process of deleting this entry.
Delete Files with Command Prompt on Windows 10
The built-in indelcommand on Windows 10 may be used to remove files (but not directories) from the Command Prompt window. This command aids you in removing the selected files from your computer’s hard drive. Warning:Be aware that thedelcommand removes the chosen file from the system without relocating it to the Recycle Bin beforehand. This implies that you will be unable to recover your file once it has been erased. To make use of it, first launch the Command Prompt window. This may be accomplished by entering the Start menu, searching for “Command Prompt,” and selecting “Run as Administrator” from the list of search results to the right of the search results.
- A Command Prompt window has now been opened for your convenience.
- Then hit the Enter key.
- Using the following command, you may remove a file named “MyFile.txt” that has been stored on your desktop, replacingusername with your own username: for example, del “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFile.txt” As a result, your chosen file has been removed from your storage!
- For example, you may use the /pparameter in a command to cause Command Prompt to ask for your consent before deleting a file before deleting the file.
- Consider how the aforementioned command appears when it is used in conjunction with the/pparameter: del /p “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFile.txt” del /p “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFile.txt”
Delete Folders with Command Prompt on Windows 10
Windows’ built-inrmdircommand may be used to remove folders (also known as directories) on your computer. This command allows you to remove directories, as well as their subfolders and the data contained within them, from your computer. It is important to understand that the thermdircommand destroys folders rather than transferring them to the Recycle Bin. Once your folders have been erased with this command, you will not be able to recover them. To use this command, first open a Command Prompt window on your computer.
Replace PATH with the entire path of the folder you wish to remove in the Command Prompt window that appears after typing the following command in the window that appears.
Make certain that the folder you’re removing does not include any files or directories before you proceed.
rmdir PATH rmdir PATH For example, to delete a folder named “MyFolder” from your desktop, run the following command, substituting username with your own username: rm -rf MyFolder rmdir “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFolder” rmdir “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFolder” rmdir “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFolder” And the command will result in the removal of the chosen folder from your computer!
rmdir /s “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFolder” rmdir /s “C:UsersusernameDesktopMyFolder” That’s all there is to it.
Various Uses of the Del Command
You may use thedelcommand to delete your files in a variety of ways, depending on your ingenuity. For example, you may eliminate specific sorts of files, or you can remove only the files that have a specific term in their names, among other options. As an example, the following command may be used to remove all of the PNG files currently present in your current folder in Command Prompt: Tip: You may substitute “.png” with any other file extension you want to remove from the list. removing *.png from the list By using this command, all PNG files in the current folder are selected and deleted.
For example, if you wanted to remove all files with names that begin with the letter “word,” you’d use the following command: Tip: If you put an asterisk before the word, it will delete any files that finish with the word you choose.
This is quite convenient!
Was it ever brought to your attention that you might instruct Windows to bypass the Recycle Bin while removing files?
Here’s how to ensure no-one can get back sensitive files you’ve deleted
The vast majority of Windows users are aware that when you delete a file, it is not truly destroyed. In the first case, it is saved in the Recycle Bin, which allows you to restore it if you accidentally deleted anything you didn’t want to remove in the first place. When you empty the Recycle Bin, the files on your hard disk are referred to as “deallocated.” Once again, the files aren’t erased; rather, the space they occupy is just indicated as being accessible for other applications to utilize.
But what about those occasions when you want to make absolutely certain that no one can retrieve a certain file?
How do I permanently delete a file?
Windows contains a built-in secure deletion tool called Cipher, which has been available since the release of Windows XP. This is something that many people are unaware of. If you do not want to install any third-party software, this will be the most convenient approach for you. And, while we’re working with Windows 10, it’s compatible with all previous versions of the operating system, including XP. The fact that Cipher doesn’t have a graphical interface means that it isn’t particularly user pleasant, but the command you must write is straightforward.
- This entails either emptying the Recycle Bin or selecting the files and hitting the Shift+Delete keyboard shortcut.
- If you want to execute Cipher, you must first start PowerShell (which has replaced Command Prompt) by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting Windows PowerShell from the option that appears.
- In other words, it will not touch any material that has not already been destroyed, and as a result, it will not wipe everything on your C: disk.
- This can take a long time, so if you want to make things go faster, you can specify the precise folder where you want ciper to work by inputting the complete path in the address bar.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, open a File Explorer window (the shortcut is Win+E) and select the following option: Users of this PC’s Local Disk (C:) There will be a list of the user accounts, with yours clearly identified as the first on the list.
How to delete files securely with Eraser
If you don’t want to use encryption, there are a lot of free applications available that will perform a similar function of overwriting your deleted files, rendering them unrecoverable. In this case, we propose that you make use of Eraser, which is a fully free and open source program that you can obtain from theHeidi website. In the top menu, select Download, followed by the most recent version (usually at the top of the list). This will take you to a download mirror – a separate website – from which the file should immediately begin downloading to your computer if everything goes well.
- This implies that you may choose one or more files in File Explorer, right-click on them, and then select Eraser from the context menu that appears.
- If you run the application from the command line, you must right-click in the Erase Schedule box and choose New TaskAdd Data from the context menu.
- These tasks may be named and saved, and they can be scheduled to execute at specific times.
- They wouldn’t be able to retrieve them, but if you replace your sensitive data with other files, it would make it appear as if they were never erased in the first place.
Author: Jim Martin, Editor
More than two decades have elapsed since Jim began testing and reviewing items. His primary areas of expertise include VPN services, antivirus software, and web hosting. He also writes on electric bikes, dashboard cameras, and smart home technology.
Can’t Delete Files: How to Delete Files That Cannot Be Deleted
If you are unable to remove files in Windows 11/10, read this page for information on the four methods for deleting files that are not able to be deleted on your Windows 11/10 computer.
|Workable Solutions||Step-by-step Troubleshooting|
|1. Force to Delete a File||Go to Start, type Task Manager, and choose “Task Manager” to open it.Full steps|
|2. Delete Files/Folders Using CMD||Press theWindows key + Rand type cmd to open the Command Prompt.Full steps|
|3. Use Safe Mode to Delete Files||Open “Settings”Click on “UpdateSecurity”Click on “Recovery”Under “Advanced Startup”.Full steps|
|4. Using a Third-party Tool||Launch BitWiper, right-click the partition you want to erase.Full steps|
Why Can’t I Delete the Files on Windows 11/10/8/7
You may come across a folder that you are unable to remove at some point in time. If you wish to solve this problem, you must first identify the source of the problem. The most common explanation for this is that the file is being utilized or locked. In every other case, a virus must be taken into consideration. It is most likely due to the fact that another software is now attempting to access the file. This can happen even if you don’t see any apps running on your computer. In the event that a file is opened by another program or process, Windows 11/10 places the file in a locked state, making it impossible to delete, change, or move it to another location.
It is possible that a file will not unlock successfully, and even if you attempt to do any action, you will receive a warning that the operation cannot be performed because the file is now being used by another software.
Before taking any action to delete the inaccessible files, you may first attempt these simple techniques to delete the files that are inaccessible:
- Close all of the applications on your computer. Restart your computer to get things going again. Activate and run the antivirus software on your computer to check for and remove any viruses that may be present.
If you still have access to these files, the procedures listed below will be of assistance to you.
Method 1. Force to Delete a File That Cannot Be Deleted Windows 11/10
When a file is open in an application, it is not possible to remove the file. Typically, you will obtain this information if you are unable to remove a file, such as the one shown in the image below. You may force Windows 11/10 to delete a file by following the procedures outlined below: The Task Manager may be accessed by typing it into the Start search box and selecting “Task Manager.” Step 2. Locate the application that is presently utilizing the file and pick “End task” from the context menu.
Method 2. Delete the File/Folder with Command Prompt
When it comes to deletion, using the Command Prompt is sometimes more effective, and you should absolutely give it a go. If you want to remove a specific file or folder from Command Prompt, you must follow these steps: Step 1. To launch the Command Prompt, use the Windows key + R and type cmd, or just search for Command Prompt at the start of the process. “Enter” del followed by the path of the folder or file that you wish to remove on the Command Prompt. Step 2. (for exampledel c:usersJohnDoeDesktoptext.txt).
Method 3. Enter Safe Mode to Unlock and Delete Files
A locked file is usually unlocked by just restarting your device, which is usually the case when you encounter one. It is possible to boot into Safe Mode to unlock and remove the file if this does not work. Step 1: Go to the “Settings” menu. Select “UpdateSecurity” from the drop-down menu. Select “Recovery” from the drop-down menu. Under “Advanced Startup,” select “Restart now” from the drop-down menu. Step 2: Select “Troubleshoot,” “Advanced options,” and “Startup Settings” from the drop-down menu.
Step 4.On the “Startup Settings” screen, press F4 to activate Safe Mode.
TipBefore erasing the whole partition and deleting the undeletable data, you should make a backup of any other important files you may need.
This is true until the operation is completed.
Method 4. Delete File that Cannot Be Deleted Using a Third-party Tool
There are several third-party tools available that can assist you in resolving this issue and deleting locked files. EaseUS BitWiper is a program that may be able to assist you with this issue. It can assist in cleaning up unwanted files and wiping up the entire data set. It is entirely compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 and other operating systems. This program is available for free download, and you may begin eliminating inaccessible files immediately. Step 1.Open EaseUS BitWiper and choose “File Shredder” from the drop-down menu.
Step 3.Re-select the files that need to be destroyed and click “Shred” to confirm your decision.
When it’s finished, click the “Done” button.
When unlocking and deleting files on Windows 11/10, it’s vital to remember that depending on the sort of files you’re trying to unlock and delete, this may result in system and application troubles. Because of this, be cautious about what you delete if you are unsure of the ramifications.
Bonus Tips – How to Recover Deleted Files or Folders
On occasion, you may have accidentally destroyed a critical file on your Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, or 7 machines; in these cases, we may give you with further assistance. Data recovery software that is simple to use might help you recover erased files. My personal recommendation is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It is the greatest file recovery program since it allows you to do the following:
- Recover data from internal and external hard drives, solid state drives (SSD), USB flash drives, SD cards, and other storage devices. Recover deleted movies, photographs, Word documents, music, and other items
- Repair corrupted or damaged photographs, as well as MP4 and MOV files
- After you have downloaded and installed EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer, you may recover lost files by following the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Choose the place to be scanned. Shift-delete or emptying the recycle bin will allow you to select the precise device and disk where you want to permanently remove the items. Then click on the “Scan” option to look for any missing files. Step 2: Evaluate the outcomes The program will instantly begin scanning the whole drive that has been selected. When the scan is finished, go to the left panel and choose the “Deleted Files” and “Other Lost Files” folders from the list. Then, use the “Filter” option or the “Search files or folders” button to easily locate the files that were accidentally deleted.
Select the files to be recovered and click “Preview.” Then, select “Recover” to store them to a different, more secure place or on another device.
How to Delete Files that Cannot Be Deleted FAQs
As for how to remove files that are unable to be erased on Windows 11/10, we hope the alternatives listed above will be of assistance. If you are still having difficulties, please review the following questions and answers.
How do you force delete a file?
- This may be accomplished by first accessing the Start menu (Windows key), then entering run and pressing the Enter key
- Type cmd in the dialogue box that opens and press Enter twice more
- Enterdel /f filename into the command prompt, where filename is the name of a file or files (you may specify multiple files by separating them with commas) that you wish to delete
Can’t delete a file is open in the system?
To get around the “File in Use” error, do the following:
- Exit the program by using the ESC key. So, let’s start with the blatantly apparent
- Restart your computer to get things going again. Using the Task Manager, terminate the application. Change the process settings for File Explorer
- Disable the File Explorer Preview Pane by clicking on the Disable button. Using the Command Prompt, you may force the deletion of the file now in use.
How do I end a DLL process?
- Navigate to the “Start” menu and look for the “Search” option. You should search for “all files and folders” rather than “some files and folders.” Then, in the search dialogue box, input the name of the DLL file that you wish to have stopped from executing
- Discover and record the location of the DLL file, as well as the whole path to the DLL file
Can I delete Aow_drv?
No. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to remove aow drv. It is a log file, and you will not be able to erase it if you try.
This essay will give you with four practical answers to your problems. The majority of customers report that they were able to resolve their issues after doing Method 1. Method 1 is the method of choice for me. In the event that you have a different solution to this problem and would want to share it with us, please let us know; our readers would be delighted to read it.