File In Use Dialog in Windows 7 Also Displays the Process Name

You may have encountered the "File in use" errors when deleting files/folders, especially when clearing out the Temp folder. To successfully delete the temporary files which are in use, you need to determine the process name which has locked the file, and then close the corresponding application first. In Windows 7, the File In Use dialog has improved, as it displays the name of the process which has locked the file.

Here is how the File In Use dialogs appear in various Windows Operating Systems

Windows XP

Windows Vista





Windows 7


Fig 3: File In Use dialog in Windows 7, showing the process name / handle (Internet Explorer)

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

1 thought on “File In Use Dialog in Windows 7 Also Displays the Process Name

  1. Great post! These are necessary things to keep in mind, it’s often easy to forget regarding the simple things once you get consumed by a project.

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