Cannot delete files, folders or icons in Windows 10/11

Many people have had issues with files and folders not being able to be deleted in Windows 10, but luckily Microsoft has a fix. Though it’s not as simple as clicking on the red cross sign or pressing shift+delete button will make your problems go away, you can use these steps for help:
1) Open File Explorer by going to Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > File Explorer (or just type file explorer into the search bar).2) Select any folder that is having trouble staying gone from view to open it up.3) Right-click anywhere within the folder and select Delete Folder. This should remove all content inside of the selected folder so try doing this one at a time until they are removed.,
4) If none of those ideas work please contact us directly at 626 437 0047

The “windows 10 can’t delete folder as administrator” is a problem that has been present for quite some time. This article will provide you with 9 fixes to fix the issue.

Cannot delete files, folders or icons in Windows 10/11


Ivan Jenic’s contribution

Expert in Troubleshooting

Ivan has dived deep into knowing this operating system, with a specialize in drivers and driver problems, thanks to his passion for all things Windows and his natural curiosity. When he isn’t tackling, he is… Continue reading

5th of April, 2022

Posted on May 20, 2021

  • If you can’t remove files, folders, or icons in Windows 10, the issue is difficult to diagnose.
  • You’ll discover how to forcibly remove a folder in Windows 10 and a lot more in this post.
  • When you are unable to remove a folder, restarting your computer may be an option.
  • Another option for resolving this vexing situation is to employ a third-party program.




One of the issues people are encountering with Windows 10 is the inability to remove certain files or directories. Also, if you’re having the same problem, we’ll show you a couple remedies.

We routinely erase items from our computers, but with Windows 10, you can’t always delete a folder, file, or icon.

This is a frustrating issue, and when it comes to file removal, many Windows 10 users have experienced the following issues:

  • How can I get rid of a folder that won’t go away?
    • You may come across a folder that you are unable to remove.
    • This may be a major issue, but one of our solutions should be able to help you solve it.
  • I’m unable to remove a folder that is currently in use.
    • You may get an error message stating that the folder you’re attempting to remove is already in use.
    • Close any programs that may be utilizing this location to resolve the issue.
    • Check out our File in Use Error page for additional details on a similar issue.
  • Access to the file is forbidden, so you can’t remove it.
    • If you don’t have the proper permissions to remove a file or folder, this error message will show.
    • You may erase the file by simply changing your security permissions.
  • I’m unable to remove a folder that is now open in another software.
    • Windows stops you from removing files that are actively being utilized by other programs by default.
    • Make sure that no other apps are utilizing that file to remedy the problem.
  • Files with lengthy names can’t be deleted.
    • Windows can’t handle files with more than a particular number of characters.
    • If this is the case, renaming the problematic file is the best approach.
    • Check out our post on how to achieve this in our The filename or extension is too lengthy article for additional details.
  • I can’t remove files since I don’t have authorization.
    • This is only a version of the issue, but in most circumstances, altering your security permissions will cure it.
  • Windows 10: Delete a Folder by Force
    • These methods work by overwriting any protocols and deleting the data forcibly.

Table of Contents

On Windows 10, how can I remove files, folders, or icons?


1. Restart your computer.

Sometimes all you have to do is restart your computer to solve the issue.

Unresponsiveness isn’t limited to this situation; for example, several users have experienced being unable to enter the start menu at times, but everything returns to normal after restarting their computer.

If restarting your computer doesn’t fix the issue, consider one of the following options.

2. Make use of a specialist piece of software

If you have a reoccurring issue and don’t have the time to test out many alternative solutions, we suggest using specialist PC cleanup software.

CCleaner is one of the greatest products of this kind since it is quick and simple to use. The program can search your computer and clean out any unneeded files.

You may utilize the custom cleaning option in CCleaner to resolve the problem of being unable to remove files. Choose the kind of file you wish to delete, and the program will generate a list of all the files that match your criteria.

Then you may choose all of them or only the one you wish to get rid of. All you have to do now is click the Run Cleaner button.

CCleaner is a useful tool for keeping your computer working smoothly. It may clear your browser, delete temporary files, and wipe your registry, among other things.



CCleaner may help you clear obstinate files and optimize your PC for better performance.

3. Using Command Prompt, delete the file/folder.

  1. Type cmd into the Search box.
  2. To launch Command Prompt with full rights, click Run as administrator.1635951654_181_PIN-not-working-in-Windows-10
  3. Enter del, followed by the path of the folder or file you wish to remove, in the Command Prompt, then click Enter (for example del c:usersJohnDoeDesktoptext.txt).

4. Change the file/ownership. folder’s

  1. Choose Properties from the context menu when you right-click on the file you wish to remove. 1649150446_306_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  2. Click the Advanced option under the Security tab. 1649150448_781_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  3. When the Advanced Security Settings box appears, look for Owner.
  4. In some circumstances, SYSTEM is listed as the owner, while in others, TrustedInstaller is displayed as the owner. To change the owner, click the Change option next to the name of the owner. 1649150449_832_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  5. Enter the username you want to be the file’s owner, check the names to make sure they’re correct, and then hit OK. 1649150450_773_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  6. You’ll see that the Owner’s name has changed, as well as a checkbox labeled Replace owner on subcontainers and objects, which you should choose and apply.
  7. Windows Security Properties should be closed.
  8. By right-clicking on the file and selecting Security, then Advanced, you may reopen the Properties window.
  9. Check the box next to Permissions on the Permissions tab. Replace all inheritable permission entries from this object with permission entries from all child objects.
  10. After that, go ahead and click Edit. 1649150451_164_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  11. Check Full Control in the Permission Entry box and click OK. 1649150452_821_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  12. Delete the file/folder once again.

If you need more details, we offer a more detailed instruction on how to assume complete ownership of a file or folder.

5. Double-check your antivirus software.

Antivirus software is a must-have, and many antivirus programs include a file-protection capability. Malicious software and users will be unable to remove your data due to this feature.

While this functionality is convenient, it might also prevent you from deleting some files.

To resolve this issue, check your antivirus settings to determine whether this option is turned on. If that’s the case, turn it off for the files you wish to remove and see if it fixes the problem.

If you still can’t locate it, try turning off your antivirus and seeing if that helps.

If deleting the antivirus resolves the issue, you should try switching to another antivirus program. There are a lot of good tools out there, but you should always go with the finest.

There is another dependable security program that can secure your computer and, of course, your important information. Furthermore, this low-resource software may improve virus prevention without interfering with other system functions.

As a result, upgrade your security software to a dependable antivirus with a high detection rate. Protect your system while ensuring that all of your PC’s settings are correct.

6. Enable the administrator account that is concealed.

If you can’t remove specific files, it’s possible that you don’t have the necessary security permissions. However, you may always use a disguised administrator account to delete such files.

You may utilize the hidden administrator account in Windows 10 to address a variety of issues.

We’ve already written about this account, and if you’re interested in learning more, check out our post on how to activate the secret administrator account.

7. Make use of specialized third-party applications.

  1. Third-party software is suggested since it can unlock and delete encrypted files from your computer. Cleaner actions might include certain files, file kinds, and directories that you specify.Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  2. Select the Custom Files and Folders check box on the list of choices page to include files and folders in the cleaning procedure.
  3. Following these instructions each time, you may add as many different Include statements as you need:
    • From the left sidebar, choose the Options icon.
    • Select the Include option.
    • By choosing Add, you may create a new include statement.
    • Fill in the blanks in the Include dialog box.

As an alternative, you may use PC repair software to help you fix a variety of Windows problems with your machine.

Remove AMD Uninstall Utility from your computer.

This issue may sometimes be caused by third-party programs. If you can’t remove files or folders on your computer, it’s possible that the AMD Uninstall Utility is to blame.

To resolve this issue, locate and uninstall this program from your computer. There are a few options, but the best one is to utilize uninstaller software.

These programs are specifically built for deleting apps, and they will delete all related files and registry entries.

The issue should be rectified after entirely deleting the troublesome program, and you should be able to remove files once again.

More information about this subject may be found here.

9. Use the Troubleshooter from Microsoft.

  1. The troubleshooter is available for download.
  2. Click Next to start the troubleshooter. 1649150454_614_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  3. To finish the troubleshooting procedure, follow the directions on the screen.

Check whether the issue still exists after running the troubleshooter.

10. Make use of Safe Mode.

  1. Start by going to the Start Menu.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key while pressing the Power button, then choose Restart from the menu. 1649150455_579_Cannot-delete-files-folders-or-icons-in-Windows-1011
  3. Now you’ll see a selection of possibilities. Select Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, Startup Settings, and Restart from the drop-down menu.
  4. The list of alternatives should now appear. By hitting the proper keyboard key, you may choose any version of Safe Mode.

Try deleting the offending file or directory after you’ve entered Safe Mode.

Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, but it could come in handy if you only need to delete a few files or folders from a certain directory.

If you can’t get into Safe Mode via the Power Menu, you may use third-party applications or the Power Menu.

11. Use the chkdsk command to check for errors.

  1. As described in solution 3, run Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. To execute, type the following command and hit Enter: /f chkdsk1648039251_787_How-to-fix-Application-error-0xe0434352-on-Windows-1011
  3. When asked whether you wish to execute it at the next start, choose YES.
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. Open File Explorer after the restart and check for the folder that won’t remove. You will be able to erase it this time.

The chkdsk scan will rectify any possible issues, and some people have stated that it solved their problem, so give it a go.

In Windows 10/11, why can’t I remove folders?

Most of the time, you won’t be able to remove folders in Windows 10 or 11 because of a variety of issues that prevent the Windows operating system from responding to your orders.

You can’t remove files or directories in the first case since they’re already open in the system. It may either be opened by other applications or be in use already.

The problem may also occur if the folder is write-protected and the disk is full. Furthermore, a faulty disk might cause the issue.

At the same time, the issue might be entirely due to your files. Corrupted files or directories, read-only file protection, or system files that aren’t authorized to be deleted are all possible reasons.

If you keep receiving the same problem and nothing else has worked, we recommend looking into effective software to forcibly erase restricted files.

If you have a different solution to this issue that you’d like to offer, please do so in the comments section below. It would be really interesting to read for our readers.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

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The “force delete folder windows 10 cmd” is a command-line tool that allows users to delete files, folders or icons in Windows 10/11.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I delete a folder that wont delete Windows 10?

A: To delete a folder in Windows 10, click on Start at the bottom left corner. On the search bar type Folder and then press Enter. Right-click on any of your folders that you want to delete and select Delete from the list of options.

How do I force delete a folder in Windows 11?

A: Open the folder in question, then press Ctrl+Shift+Delete on your keyboard. This will cause Windows to prompt you for confirmation of this action. Press Yes or OK and all files within that particular folder will be deleted from your computers hard drive.

How do you delete files that Cannot be deleted Windows 11?

A: To delete files that you cannot delete, right click on the file and select send to recycle bin. There is also a command prompt in your start menu where you can type in recycle.exe /p.

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