Windows has evolved into a rather well-polished easy to use OS over numerous iterations ever since Windows 1 was released back in November 1985.
However, just like all things tech, Windows does have its fair share of issues that keep popping up from time to time. In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can fix not being able to delete a folder in Windows 10.
Restart your PC
One of the first thing you should try when troubleshooting just about any issue with Windows is to restart your PC. This can fix a bunch of seemingly random issues and can save you a lot of headaches.
Check your antivirus
Antiviruses are a necessity in this time and age, however, they can be quite intrusive under the excuse of protecting you. In this case, antiviruses can protect certain files from deletion to avoid users deleting any essential system files.
Make sure that the file you’re trying to delete is not a system file or is not needed by any system essential service. Try disabling your antivirus temporarily while deleting the file.
Use the Command Prompt
The Command Prompt is a rather powerful utility in Windows 10 if used properly. In case you’re unable to delete any files or folders using the Windows Explorer, you can try going it through the Command Prompt.
Step 1: Press Windows key + R to bring up the Run prompt. Type in cmd and hit enter.
Step 2: Navigate to the directory where your folder is located by typing in CD followed by the path of the directory.
Step 3: Use the DEL command followed by the folder name to delete the folder.
Change ownership of the File/Folder
If you’re not the owner of a particular file or folder on your computer, you might not be able to modify or delete its contents.
Here’s how you can change the ownership of files or folders on your PC.
Step 1: Right-click on the file or folder you want to delete and choose Properties.
Step 2: Under the Security tab, click on Advanced.
Step 3: Click on Change in front of the current Owner.
Step 4: Enter the username of the account you want to make the owner of the file/folder. Use the Check Names button to make sure you’re using the right username. Click OK when done.
Step 5: Make sure you have all the required permissions for the file. If you don’t, use the Edit… button to modify said permissions.
Try deleting the file or folder again.
Use the hidden administrator account
If changing the file permissions and ownership doesn’t help the issue, you can use the hidden administrator account in Windows 10 to override all permissions and delete the file/folder you want.
Remove the AMD Uninstall Utility
AMD’s native uninstall utility, used to clean up any GPU driver files when you uninstall or modify the drivers, has been known to conflict with deletion of other files as well.
If the utility thinks you’re trying to remove a file essential to the driver, it’ll block you from deleting that particular file or directory. If you have this utility on your machine, try removing it and deleting whatever it is that you want.
Use the Microsoft File and Folder Troubleshooter
Microsoft provides a bunch of amazing troubleshooters that can fix a number of issues in a matter of a few clicks. If you’re having issues with files and folders on your PC, you should try downloading the Microsoft File and Folder troubleshooter and run it to resolve any such issues.
Use Safe Mode
If all else fails, try booting into the Windows 10 Safe Mode and deleting your files and folders.
Step 1: Open the Start menu, click on the power icon and click on Restart while holding down the Shift key.
Step 1: Click on Troubleshoot.
Step 2: Head over to Advanced Options.
Step 3: Select Startup Settings
Step 4: Click the Restart button.
Wait for your PC to finish rebooting and try deleting your files and folders now.
Also read: Where are Windows 10 Sticky Notes stored?
Someone who writes/edits/shoots/hosts all things tech and when he’s not, streams himself racing virtual cars. You can reach out to Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.