If you are using Windows 7, 8, or 10, sometime there are some folders appear to be super stubborn, and refuse to go away. No matter how much you try, it just can’t be deleted. It’s undelete-able. Any attempts would result in this dreadful dialog box:

“Are you f*cking kidding me? This is my computer and I have the the absolute control over everything” – You said. Naturally, you would go to open the Security tab in Properties dialog to grant the permissions to everyone.

Strangely, the tab is empty! In other words, there is no one granted permission to nothing.

What? Why? How?

The truth is quite shocking: the folder might be already deleted – but there are processes still referring to it – and by that they keep the handle to the folder open. When that happens, you can’t really do anything to the folder without terminating the process first.

How to find the process then?

Just use Process Explorer, a free SysInternals tool from Microsoft.  Download, extract and run the .exe file (procexp.exe if you are running x86 version, or procexp64.exe if you are running 64 bit version of Windows) Click on Find/Find Handle or Dll, or use Ctrl+F shortcut. In this case we’re looking for typings, which is a fairly unique string. You can of course search by the path if the folder name is quite generic (i.e. there might be a lot of them). Wait for a little bit for this to show up. We got you the sneaky process(es):

Now you know which process is holding the handle to the folder, it’s as easy to fix it. Double click on the process and Process Explorer even let you know the parent process. In most of the cases you can have a peaceful exit and everything will be fixed. In worst cases, a forceful close might be needed.

 


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