How to delete file that does not exist?

can't delete a file that no longer is link or in exist


Encountering a file that refuses to be deleted can be a frustrating experience for PC users. Whether it's an error message, permissions issue, or a file seemingly stuck in limbo, there are several common reasons why you might face this problem. In this article, we'll explore the potential causes behind being unable to delete a file on your PC and provide step-by-step solutions to resolve the issue.

pic :How to delete a file that no longer exists

How to delete a file that no longer exists

We right click on a file to delete it and there, it's the gag! item not found! yeah ok… yet my guy you are there on my screen!

This kind of joke happens to me sometimes when I go through the file explorer to delete a file on the desktop. Despite this, the file still appears and sometimes disappears on reboot and sometimes….no.

  1. cd /d C:\users\name disk\Desktop
  2. dir /x
  3. rmdir /q /s name of the file you want to remove

Without using any software, just create a folder giving it the same name as the file to be deleted. This is now deletable. We are then left with this new folder which now becomes impossible to delete.

and it's not over…
We then create a new folder of the same name which will merge with the first one and as if by magic, we can now delete it.

  • The folder to be deleted contains hidden files or subfolders.
  • The file or folder is read-only.
  • The storage medium has a problem or its file system has errors.
  • The PC is infected with a virus.
  • The file or folder to be deleted was created by another Windows 10 user who did not allow deletion rights.

Why does Windows refuse to delete a file?
There are several reasons why Windows fails to delete a file or folder.

File in Use by Another Program:

One of the most common reasons for being unable to delete a file is that it's currently in use by another program.
Solution: Close any programs that might be accessing the file. Check the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to ensure no background processes are using the file.

Insufficient Permissions:

If you don't have the necessary permissions to delete a file, your operating system will prevent you from doing so.
Solution: Right-click on the file, select "Properties," go to the "Security" tab, and ensure that you have the appropriate permissions to modify or delete the file. If not, adjust the permissions accordingly.

File is Read-Only:

A file set to read-only mode cannot be deleted until the read-only attribute is removed.
Solution: Right-click on the file, select "Properties," and uncheck the "Read-only" attribute if it's enabled. Apply the changes and try deleting the file again.

Corrupted File System:

A corrupted file system can sometimes prevent files from being deleted.
Solution: Run a disk check utility like CHKDSK to scan and repair any errors in the file system. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and type "chkdsk /f /r" followed by the drive letter (e.g., "chkdsk /f /r C:") and press Enter. Follow the prompts to schedule a disk check upon reboot.

File Name Too Long:

Windows has a maximum path length limit, and files with excessively long names or paths may cause deletion errors.
Solution: Rename the file to a shorter name or move it to a location with a shorter path, then try deleting it again.

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Malware or File Locking Software:Malicious software or file locking utilities can sometimes prevent the deletion of files.
Solution: Perform a full system scan with reputable antivirus software to detect and remove any malware. If you suspect a file locking utility, uninstall or disable it temporarily and attempt to delete the file again.


Encountering difficulties when trying to delete a file on your PC can be frustrating, but understanding the potential causes and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps can help resolve the issue. By identifying whether the file is in use, checking permissions, addressing file attributes, repairing the file system, and considering potential malware interference, users can usually overcome obstacles and successfully delete unwanted files from their systems.

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