Unlock, move, and delete annoying locked files with Free File Unlocker

Show those locked, busy, or in-use files who's boss with this powerful freeware.

Time was that fools masquerading as Windows users could delete just about any file in the system, with immediate and disastrous consequences. Windows has gotten better about keeping users from deleting critical system files, to the point that it sometimes keeps you from deleting files you should be able to delete because they're in use, locked, or otherwise busy. Free File Unlocker from 4dots software restores your ability to wreak havoc on your operating system by giving you the power to unlock and delete files that are currently in use, locked, busy, or undeletable for various reasons. Used carefully, it can help you remove malfunctioning software, corrupt files, and even viruses and other malware in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions.

Free File Unlocker's no-nonsense user interface starts with a Locked File/Directory entry field, and it displays files list-style in the main window under a wide range of draggable headings. Buttons let us Unlock, Unlock All, or Kill Processes; we could also Delete, Rename, Copy, and Move any locked files. The largest, most prominent button is labeled Get Locked. We pressed this but observed no results, and neither the otherwise very good Help file nor the program's Web page shed any light on it. It may have searched for locked files and simply failed to find any. Free File Locker also integrates with shell menus in Windows, so you can right-click any locked file in Explorer and select Unlock with Free File Unlocker from the context menu. It runs from the command line, too, and can also delete files on reboot.

Testing Free File Locker was as easy as saving a Word doc, keeping it open, and then deleting it with Free File Unlocker, something Explorer wouldn't let us do. Free File Unlocker deleted the file, though it remained open in Word for saving again. We closed the document and then tried to open it again from Word's recent file list, but it was gone. For unlocking, moving, and deleting those pesky files that hold up the works, Free File Locker is a great choice. Just be sure you're deleting the right files.

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