11 November 2009

Unlocker: Force Restricted Files And Folders To Do What You Want



Windows  usually restricts access and control of files, folders the system or a program in the system is using. This is for the own protection of non Power Users (trust me).  Of course that if you are a Windows Power User you will find this annoying and get a Windows Error Dialog like this one:


This one above is the most common one but there are also these ones:

  • Cannot delete file: Access is denied
  • There has been a sharing violation.
  • The source or destination file may be in use.
  • The file is in use by another program or user.
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Once you install it. I recommend not activating the assistant as it is a overkill. Where you want to have unlocker is a as right-click context utility so you can use it when you select the locked file/folder/ like this:


And that once working it will show you what processes are the ones not letting you make use of the File/Folder.


Sometime you only will see a single line. sometimes you will see not matching lines because it can see multiple locked processes at the same time. You can unlock all if you want to use a file but not affect the program running that it is also using that file. If you select kill process it will also shutdown the program running using that file and depending of the app this can cause a conflict. So i don’t recommend it.

Other actions you can use unlocker for is if you need to rename or move file/folder and it is locked. For that you only need to use the selection dropdown menu directly.

Why Would You Want It?

Personally i also put unlocker in my list of essentials because i am a little bit impatient, i don’t like to overuse the task manager when there is no need to do so and because if you happen to use several applications at once and move files around because you like to keep you own sense of order in your OS; you can bet you will encounter locked files and folders a lot. So it really depends on you feeling identified with my explanation in order to evaluate if you would want to use this app.

Final Notes

It works in all current Windows OSes XP, Vista & 7) and even Windows 2000. In the case of Vista you will need to authorize it to install and to use it because of UAC. Windows 7 is the same case but you will also need to make it run in compatibility mode so it works right.  It is only for 32 bit versions.


If you visit the page of the developer in IE7 and IE8. It will tell you that it is a Unsafe Website. It is not. It is just that the site it is in the blacklist because unlocker is a Windows Process Modifier. I guess Microsoft does not approves that.

Unlocker      <—Unlocker Download Page


*Update* (19/07/2013): I have updated the linkage. The installer will now try to add other promo stuff so deselect what you don’t need while installing. The version I am linking is the 1.9.1 and the one I recommend you to use. So you may want to also deselect checking for updates. Further versions beyond that one contain Adware.





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