PowerToys will list processes that prevent you from deleting files


Delete this! Microsoft is busying developing a new toy for PowerToys that promises to be another neat addition to the already impressive set of tools that are available for the utility.

Think of this as a File Locksmith tool.

One that is aimed at helping you figure out why you cannot delete a specific file or folder.

This one will be available for both Windows 11 and Windows 10 users, and how it will work is that it will add a new context menu entry that will be responsible for showing what processes hold a file or directory, preventing it from being deleted or renamed.

The entry is currently titled “What’s using this file?”, but its name may change in the final release.

And this is it in action:

This rough mockup above reveals what File Locksmith might look like, and how it will display the processes, show their IDs, the blocked files and directories, and a button to end the listed processes and do the deed.

The concept is on par with what PowerToys currently offers, though it merits a mention that Microsoft will most likely reposition the arrow-down button that reveals more details to prevent users from accidentally killing the task.

And you know, instead of getting more information about it, that is to say.

PowerToys File Locksmith is a work in progress, and although the tool itself is up and running, there is fair amount of time before it becomes available for everyone. The company prefers to thoroughly test and refine features like these before launching them.

You can keep tabs on the development progress of this tool on GitHub.

This handy suite of utilities has been picking up new tools left and right, including a Screen Ruler and even some powerful OCR capabilities.