Nothing is Undeleteable

by whoozhe
April 27, 2004
Note: This tip is for experts.

If you ever encounter a stubborn file that simply refuses to delete there is a way.

Remember that some files are system files so deleting them can cause the system to fail altogether. This process is handy when trying to get rid of a bad or dangerous file.

- Open a Command Window (Start Accessories - Command Prompt)
- Leave it open but close down all other running programs.
- Now via the Ctrl Alt Del or from the Task Manager (Start - Run Type TASKMGR.EXE) under the processes tab, end the Explorer.exe process.
- Now leaving the task Manager open, return to the Command Prompt window and type "cd path" to take you to the folder where the file is. eg. "cd c:My Documents" (Without brackets. Also note there is a space between cd and c:)
- Now type "DEL " (eg "DEL badfile.exe" again without the brackets.
- Once done go back to the Task Manager and under File - New Task type EXPLORER.EXE. This will kick start the windows GUI (interface)
- Close task manager.

As with any tweak back up the registry first and make a copy of the file you are about to delete to a floppy disk just in case that file is needed for some purpose.

Related Article: Recover Deleted Files