You are working highly concentrated on your computer, and suddenly you really need to know how to force delete a folder on Windows 10? Hardly any bug of the operating system persists so stubbornly over various versions like this one. It does not even have to be an important system folder that needs to be removed. Often it is even an empty folder that cannot be deleted.
You can force delete the folder on Windows 10, but depending on the cause, it may take a while to get the right solution. Therefore, we present you several proven methods that have already helped many users. This tutorial can be applied to all variants of the latest operating system from Microsoft. The individual steps work on Windows 10 Home without any problems.
Let’s start with an overview of all possible solutions, which we will explain step by step afterwards.
How to Force Delete a Folder on Windows 10?
- Close other Programs that Access the Folder
- Restart the Explorer if the Item is not Found
- Force Delete the Folder thanks to Advanced Permissions
- Access via Windows 10 Safe Mode
- How to Force Delete a Folder on Windows 10 using Commands
However, before you start with the first method, you should restart your PC in any case. Often, the problem can be solved this way, and you learn how to force delete the folder afterwards.
1. Close other Programs that Access the Folder
You click on Delete Folder and suddenly a window pops up with the title Folder in use. “The action cannot be completed because the folder is open in another program.” Actually convenient, you can’t just remove data that is still in use. This problem can also be prevented quite easily with familiar on-board tools:
- Go to the task manager of Windows 10 by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys at the same time.
- You should already be in the Processes tab, where all currently running apps are listed under Apps. You may have to click on More Details.
- Complete your work in the respective programs and then close everything except the background processes as well as Windows Explorer and the Task Manager itself.
- To do this, right-click on Quit Task.
- Close Task Manager and try to delete the folder again.
2. Restart the Explorer if the Item is not Found
The message “Item not found” also appears quite often under Windows 10. This is usually a display error of the explorer, because the file has already been removed in this case. This error occurs, for example, when you try to clean your PC from duplicates. However, there is a simple trick how to force delete a folder on Windows 10:
- Open the Task Manager again with Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
- This time, ignore most of the active processes such as the Microsoft Office software and only exit Windows Explorer by right-clicking or on the corresponding button.
- At the top left of the menu bar, select File and Execute new task.
- In the text field, you enter the path of your explorer, by default C:\Windows\explorer.exe.
- After confirming with OK, you have successfully restarted the process. Now check if the folder can be deleted.
3. Force Delete the Folder thanks to Advanced Permissions
If a folder cannot be deleted, it may be because file access has been denied. You can recognize this by the error “You need permissions to perform this operation”. If the Windows 10 user who is logged in is not an administrator account, you need extended access permissions. Only then can you learn how to force delete a folder on Windows 10.
- Right-click on the folder to open its properties.
- Under the Security tab, click the Edit button to change the permissions.
- In the overview of group and user names, select the currently active user.
- Further down in the Permissions section, uncheck the Deny box.
- Close all windows with OK and try to delete the folder again.
4. Access via Windows 10 Safe Mode
Under Windows 10 safe mode, various items and applications will not load when the operating system starts. This can prove helpful in many cases, including when your PC is struggling with malware, and you are not using a good antivirus program. Also, in the case of a folder that cannot be deleted.
The fastest way to access safe mode is to restart your PC and press Shift + F8 while booting. Depending on the manufacturer, Ctrl + F8 may also work. After logging in, you should be able to find the folder in its usual location and delete it.
5. How to Force Delete a Folder on Windows 10 using Commands
If all the previous steps have not led to success, there is one last option. You can use the Windows command prompt if you want to force delete a folder on Windows 10:
- The quickest way to open the command prompt is via Run (Windows logo key + R). There you enter cmd.
- In the window with black background you type the command del followed by the complete source path of the folder. For example: del C:\Users\keyportal\Desktop\Tutorials.
- To confirm, press Y for Yes, I want to delete the folder. Done.
That’s how to force delete a folder on Windows 10. With such interventions, you should always proceed with a certain amount of caution. Because trying to recover deleted data in Windows 10 can prove to be a real feat. But please don’t let that stop you from wanting to delete superfluous folders. A certain amount of order helps immensely to maintain an overview and at the same time is making Windows faster.