In this tutorial, learn how to delete currently used, locked, undeletable, busy files with File Unlocker.
You must first specify the file or directory you wish to unlock, delete, rename, copy, or move before you can use File Unlocker. To do so, pick “Select File / Directory” and then “File” or “Directory” to specify a file or directory (folder). You can also right-click on the file or directory in Windows Explorer and choose “Unlock using File Unlocker” from the context menu, or pass it as a run-time option when running the software from the command line.
After that, you can use the “Delete,” “Move,” “Copy,” and “Rename” toolbar buttons to perform the necessary tasks, although the deletion will require a reboot to accomplish.
You must first press the “Find Locks” button to avoid the reboot.
Then File Unlocker will collect information about the processes that are locking these files or folders and display it.
You may then “Delete,” “Move,” and “Rename” without having to reboot.
In Windows Explorer, you can pick multiple files or folders, then right-click on them and choose “Unlock using File Unlocker.” Furthermore, by clicking “Enter List” and entering the paths of the files or folders in the main application, the user can pick numerous files or folders.
To unlock the file and directory handles, simply close them.
By right-clicking on the locked files and selecting “Delete Permanently,” they can be forwarded to the recycle bin or permanently erased from the system.
If necessary, you can also kill the processes that are locking files or directories and erase the processes files.
The locked file and the processes files that lock it can also be opened in Windows Explorer.
Windows Explorer Integration
File Unlocker is also part of the Windows Explorer interface. To use File Unlocker, right-click a file or folder in Windows Explorer and choose “Unlock with File Unlocker” from the menu that appears.
Selecting All Locked Files and Directories
Press the “Select” button and select “All Files and Directories” to select and display information about all files and directories that are currently locked by the system. The system then displays a list of all the files and directories that it has locked.
You should exercise caution while using this feature because you can cause havoc and irreversible damage if you delete, rename, or move files that you shouldn’t.
Press the “Find Locks” button to update information about the processes that lock a file or directory.
Command line usage
The program features a user-friendly graphical user interface, but it may also be run from the command line.
The following is the command-line syntax:
Unlocks files or directories that are locked from the Windows file system.
FreeFileUnlocker.exe [file|directory|input list file|/ALL] [/S][/D][/DPER][/DPROC] [/L] [/U] [/K] [/O [Log File]] [/V] [/SHOW] [/R filename] [/M file|directory] [/C file|directory] [/RL Rename List] [/ML Move List] [/CL Copy List] [/?]
file : file to get unlocked.
directory : directory to get unlocked.
input list file : text file containing a list of locked files or directories. one on each row. It is required to use the /L switch.
/ALL – ALL : Select all files or directories that are locked.
/S -S : Silent mode. Does not show GUI.
/D -D : Send locked files, or processes that lock those files, to the Recycle bin. Use /DPER with this switch to delete permenantly.
/DPER -DPER : Use with the /D switch to delete permenantly locked files or processes that lock those files.
/DPROC -DROC : Send to the Recycle Bin processes that lock specified files. Use with the /DPER switch to delete process files permenantly.
/L -L : Use input list file.
/U -U : Force unlock.
/K -K : Kill process.
Log File : file where to log output.
/O -O : log output to defined log file or to log.txt.
/V – V : Verbose mode. Write output messages to console.
/SHOW – SHOW : Show information about locked files or directories.
/R -R : Rename locked file or directory to the filename or directory name specified.
/C -C : Copy locked file or directory to the file or directory specified.
/M -M : Move locked file or directory to the file or directory specified.
Rename List : text file containing a list of entries that define how the files in the input list file will be renamed. Required the /RL and the /L switch.
/RL -RL : Rename locked files or directories of the input list file using the rename list.
Move List : text file containing a list of entries that define how where the files in the input list file will be moved. Required the /ML and the /L switch.
/ML -ML : Move locked files or directories of the input list file using the move list.
Copy List : text file containing a list of entries that define how where the files in the input list file will be copied to. Required the /CL and the /L switch.
/CL -CL : Copy locked files or directories of the input list file using the copy list.
To unlock the file c:\documents\virus.exe, for example, do the following:
FreeFileUnlocker.exe “c:\documents\virus.exe” /u /s
Execute the following command to see a list of all locked files and folders:
FreeFileUnlocker.exe /all /show /s
For example, to permanently destroy the malware file c:\documents\virus.exe, run the command:
FreeFileUnlocker.exe “c:\documents\virus.exe” /d /dper /s
Execute the following command to unlock the file “c:\temp\osd.tmp” and stop the process that is utilizing it:
FreeFileUnlocker.exe “c:\temp\osd.tmp” /u /k /s
For example, use the following to unlock the files included in the list file c:\documents\list.txt (one file per row):
FreeFileUnlocker.exe “c:\documents\list.txt” /l /u /s
Execute the following commands to unlock the files included in the is fie c:documentslist.txt and move them to the destinations specified in the list file c:\documents\move.txt:
FreeFileUnlocker.exe “c:\documents\list.txt” /l /ml “c:\documents\move.txt”