Article ID: 259150 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q259150
When you try to delete a file, you may be unable to do so. Also, you may receive an error message stating that the file is in use and cannot be deleted or that it is a system file and cannot be deleted.
This issue can occur for either of the following reasons:
To work around this issue, use the appropriate method:
File Is Currently Being Used by Windows or Another ProgramIf the file is being used by Windows or another program, restart your computer with a Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98 or Windows 95 Startup disk, and then delete the file from the command prompt.
WARNING: Do not perform the following procedure unless you are certain the file can be deleted without damaging Windows or a program you currently use. If you are unable to determine that the file can be safely deleted, create a copy of the file before you delete it so you can restore it if needed. To copy a file, right-click it, click Copy, right-click a folder you want to put the copy in, and then click Paste.
File Is a Windows System FileWARNING: Windows system files are essential portions of the operating system software, and should not be deleted. Deleting a Windows system file can cause data loss or require you to reinstall Windows. Do not delete a Windows system file unless you have created a backup copy of the file, and deleting the file is absolutely necessary.
To delete a Windows system file, use the steps listed in the "File Is Currently Being Used by Windows or Another Program" section of this article.