How do I Unlock a File in Windows 10?

Hello, Please let me know How do I unlock a file in Windows 10? I don't know how to unlock it. I tried many times but unable to unlock it. So can anyone have any idea? help me

John Oxley 1   Ans 3 months ago
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Unlock File in Windows 10

When you open a file by another app or process, Windows 10 puts the file into a locked state, and you can't modify, delete, or move it to another location. Usually, once the file is no longer in use, the application will unlock it automatically, but that's not always the case.

Sometimes it may happen that a file gives trouble when we try to unlock it properly, and even if you try to take any action, you will get an alert that the operation can't be done because it is open by any other application. If you have to delete or take different actions with a locked file, there are at least two methods you can use to unlock it, including using Microsoft's Process Explorer tool and Safe Mode.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to get rid of files even if they're locked by an app or process and will discuss the method that will help you to unlock a file in Windows 10.

Best Methods To Unlock The File 

The following are some of the best and easy techniques to fix the issue.

  • How to unlock files using Process Explorer
  • How to unlock files using Safe Mode

Method 1:- Unlock Files Using Process Explorer

If you are required to unlock a file currently being used by a program or system process and you can't restart your device, you can use the below-provided step b step guide:

Step 1. Download Process Explorer from this Microsoft website.

Step 2. Extract the content inside the compressed folder. (You can refer to these instructions if you need additional help on how to do this task you can get it.)

Step 3. Double-click the procexp.exe if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows 10 or procexp64.exe if you're running a 64-bit version 10 to launch the app.

Step 4. Go to the File option, and select the Show Details for All Processes option.

Step 5. Hit enter on the Find field and select the Find Handle or DLL option.

Step 6. Write the name of the locked file in the field, and hit on the Search button.

Step 7. Select the file from the search result that appeared on the screen.

Step 8. From the search window, in "Process Explorer," right-click on the locked file, and choose the Close Handle option to unlock it.

Important: If the file is being used by more than one process, repeat the steps to close all handles.

Once you complete these steps, you can go ahead and safely delete or modify and unlock a file in Windows 10.

Method 2:- How To Unlock Files Using Safe Mode

Usually, when you come across a locked file, you can simply restart your device to unlock it. However, if the application has a service that loads during the process of startup, it might keep locking a file as soon as you log in. You can either boot into Safe Mode, or you can disable the app from loading at startup to unlock and delete the file. Following are the steps or this method

Step 1. Go to the Settings.

Step 2. Click on the Update & Security option.

Step 3. Hit enter on the Recovery field.

Step 4. Under "Advanced Startup," click the Restart now button.

Step 5. Press enter on the Troubleshoot option.

Step 6. Click on Advanced options.

Step 7. Click on Startup Settings.

Step 8. Click the Restart button.

Step 9. From the option of - Startup Settings, press F4 to change disabled Safe Mode to enabled mode.

While in Safe Mode, use File Explorer to search for the file and delete the files that were previously locked, then simply restart your system as you would normally to exit Safe Mode. hence you have successfully achieved the target to unlock a file in Windows 10.

Wrapping Things Up

Although there are a number of tools available on the internet designed specifically to deal with locked files, on Windows 10 there is more than one way to remove these types of files without having to get the software from unknown sources.

It's important to note that unlocking and deleting files on Windows 10 may cause system and program issues, depending on the type of files you're trying to unlock. So be careful of what you delete if you're not sure of the consequences. Above I have provided the best and most simple methodologies to unlock a file in Windows 10. The best part about these methods is that it be used by novice users as well.

Noel Daria 13 December 2022
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