the action can't be completed because the file is open in windows explorer

This error message is driving me crazy "the action can't be completed because the file is open in windows explorer"

i downloaded anime the format is mkv, iv downloaded many mkv anime series, just this one won't let me delete it, iv restarted my computer, same error, i even tried safe mode but when i try to delete it comes up preparing to delete and the status is calculating, i let that wait for 2 mins, nothing happened.

So why can't i just delete this one single file.

really need help, thanks.

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I have another problem.

I had omitted to add the Hosts file when redoing my pc and just now did it and am having problems with it. I use HostsMan and Host Toggle.

HostsMan updates from:

MVPS Hosts
hp Hosts
hp Hosts (partial)
hp Hosts (Ad and tracking)
Peter Lowe's adServers List

When I go to the host file and try to disable it I get one of these messages:

"File in use
The action can't be completed because the file is open in Cryptographic Services"

Another program is using Hosts file.
Try again later."

Other times I also am getting a message that says that the hosts file cannot be disabled when there is a file already called I go in and delete that file, but as soon as I hit disable again it reapears and the same message comes up.

Also, I cannot get online with the hosts file on the pc now. It shows that it is connected to the router but it will not connect to the internet. I had to go in in safe mode to delete the host file so it would go online.

I have the following security installed and did not see any that are locking the hosts

Avast anti virus
Spyware Blaster
Windows Firewall

OS is Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit and it is a wireless connection

What can I do o get online?

I get a message about Folder In Use or File In Use:

"The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program"

At the time this is happening, how do I found out what "other program" has the folder or file open?

I have tried the Sysinternals Process Monitor (not process explorer) and it only reports on the access denial. The event that is holding the folder or file, happened before Process Monitor starts.

Is there a way to simply list the open folders/files and what program has them open?

In my situation, the folder/file in question should not be open by any program. I suspect something is operating in a stealth mode.

I have one application that insists on storing log files and profiles at: C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocal. When I try to moe it to my E: partition it gets hung with the error message:
The action can't be completed because the file is open in System
Close the file and try again.

Type: Video CD Movie
Size: 2.50 MB
Date modified: 3/13/2010 12:20 PM
I have tried deleting all non-essential processes within Task Manager to no avail. Any ideas? Thanks

Running Windows 7, Explorer 8, and Norton 360 v4

When trying to rename or delete files or folders, I often get

Folder in Use
The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program.

I check the task manager and sure enough something is running. I do an end task and try again, but still get the same error message. And yet again the task manager says something is running. No matter how many times I try it, it never seems to unlock the file or folder.

I have checked the internet and it seems quite a few users are having the same problem, but they seem to be pre-WIN 7.

Sure could use some easy to understand instructions. While reading what others have been doing I discovered I didn't really understand a lot of the expanations.

Thanks for any advice and assistance


I am running Win7 Home Premium 64bit OS, and I use Acronis for backing up my computer. My backups are stored on an external hard-drive. Since upgrading to Win7 I am having difficulty deleting my oldest Acronis backup from the external hard-drive. When I attempt to delete the oldest .tib file I get this notice:

"The action can't be completed because the folder is open in COM Surrogate."

How do I work around this problem in order that I can delete the file? I am not familiar with what COM Surrogate is, thus I do not know how I can close it in order to delete the large .tib backup file. Can someone please lend me a hand in solving this problem? Thanks in advance,

Ed Schwing

I have a frustrating error and Google doesn't seems to turn up much. Using Windows 7 Home 32 and Foxit reader. When this problem started I uninstalled Foxit (latest) & tried NitroPDF, same problem. Uninstalled that & reinstalled Foxit, was OK for a day or so, now started again.
Every time I try to rename or delete a PDF file in windows explorer, I get this message. see attachment

'The action can't be completed because the file is open in Preview Handlers Surrogate Host'

It happens every time, just for PDF files, tried rebooting etc nothing changes it. The only way is to turn off the preview pane, which I need, as I rename a lot of PDF files using the information from the document shown in the preview pane. Eg invoice numbers etc
I also use Soluto(Beta) and it is showing lots of DCOM DLL Host process crashes

If anyone has any ideas I would be very grateful

I have a new-to-me Dell Latitude E6500 laptop that is far from use because Win7 confuses me terribly. I have looked for (but not found) a "big picture" of Win7's structure by browsing the three Windows Secrets Windows7 Guide books; David Pogue's Windows7 Missing Manual; Bott's, Siechert's, and Stinson's Windows7 Inside Out Deluxe Edition; and David Karp's Windows7 Annoyances.

For example, when I tried to rename and then delete a document within a folder, I got the message ""The action can't be completed because the folder is open in Windows Explorer." Of course I was in the folder! That's where the document was! If I exited the folder, I lost access to the document! So I gave up, and I won't try asking for help about that because I don't remember what I was doing before that made this folder's content unchangeable.

Nevertheless, I am seriously thinking that I will never be able to use Windows 7, and I will have to abandon all computing activities after April 2014, when MS drops WinXP support and interesting websites (e.g. Schwab) will be inaccessible (as happened when I tried continuing with Win2kSp4). I will illustrate my discouragement with the issue of Libraries.

If I look at my Libraries, I see the following Library categories, down to but not including Dell E6500:

------------My Documents
------------------My Music
------------------My Pictures
------------------My Videos
------------Public Documents
------------------My Music
------------------My Pictures
------------------My Videos
------------My Music
------------Public Music
------------------Sample Music
------------My Pictures
------------Public Pictures
------------------Sample Pictures
------------My Videos
------------Public Videos
------------------Sample Videos
Dell E6500

[Digression: I had to mark the indentations with dashes because spaces got wiped out when I previewed this.
It sure would be nice if Win7 indented sub-libraries with clear indents such as those above, rather than requiring me to hold up a vertical rule to the screen to be sure I knew what was a sub-library.]

Note the incredible amount of repetition!

Question 1) Where would a document with actual words in it (e.g. a Children's Story about Rumple Stiltskin and the Three Bears, or a careful analysis of U.S. foreign policy) be represented among the Libraries I have outlined above?

Question 2) Short of wiping my hard disk clean and re-installing Windows7 (I have the CD or DVD), how can I get a real Documents library (or sub-library) installed?

Question 3) Is the lack of a true Documents library the result of my not having a Documents folder? Where should I look to see if I have a Documents folder? [I would want it to be everything in Partition D: (D: is for Data), intended to be my Documents Folder, for my Administrator account aod for my Standard account.]

Question 4) Background: David Pogue's Windows 7 Missing Manual book, page 142, includes the following: "Anything you put into a Public folder is available to anyone with an account on your PC, or even other people on your network."

In my case, I am the only user of my WinXP laptop on which I am writing this, and my wife is the only user of her WinXP laptop. Each computer has only one folder accessible, over a NetBEUI Local Area Network, to the other computer. (Each of those folders could be described as a "Transfer Stuff" folder.) And access to the other laptop's "Transfer Stuff" folder requires each of us to use a login name and password.

In short, I have no need for a Public anything.

Question 4) Question: For my simple situation, can Public Folders and Public Libraries be discarded? (There maybe could be one "Public" aka "Transfer Stuff" Folder, on Partition D: --- except that Pogue says it could be accessed by "other people on your network," and since NetBEUI apparently is dead in Win7, I fear that "other people on your network" might be strangers via the internet.) Assuming I become able to use --- I'll never be able to master --- Win7, we may have to "Transfer Stuff" using shoenet.

Any comments, suggestions, or answers to the questions above would be very much appreciated.

R.N. (Roger) Folsom

Such a simple thing I've been doing for years, no---decades, and Win 7 is breaking it...

Copy a file into a new folder on the LAN. (Win domain, simple system). When I try to rename the file, Windows helpfully responds "The action cannot be completed because the file is open in Windows Explorer"

How do I close the file in Windows Explorer?

The application that created the file hasn't been open in at least a week. FWIW this is an Adobe Illustrator .ai file. This problem happens randomly, but only with Adobe file types, such as .ai and .indd. Randomly, I have no trouble with this.

edit: I can open the file with Illustrator, close it and Illustrator, and still can't rename the file. Why is Windows holding my file hostage? lol

So I bought a brand new HP pavilion 6650z win 7 64 bit computer and I am having problems. At first everything was fine, because the browsers were fine. Then one day the browsers stopped, I don't like internet explorer so I downloaded safari, (which I used on my vista) and it randomly just wouldn't load pages. It would maybe go to google, or a few sites, but some websites it would say "Page can not be displayed" I had to use firefox, internet explorer, and safari just to register on this website, some browsers will load a website while others don't. I downloaded google chrome because I saw one thread that used it, but I am noticing that it won't load some websites as well. I know I have internet and it is fine because I play online games and they play excellent, so how do I fix this?


Hi fellas!

Another strange behaviour appeared in our network: Several users claimed, that their IE wants to save the website instead of opening it. When you click on a link, you are confronted with a "Save as..." dialogue instead of the desired site. This bug appeared on different websites with different users on different machnies. The only thing in common is, they are all using IE6-8. Internet Connection is established through a proxy server. Other users, who are also working with IE6-8 and this proxy server, don't have any problems at all.
The problem can't be reproduced, because one day it's working, the other day not. When you are faced with this bug, you can try to open the site as often as you like - no way. You restart your machine, and everything is back to normal. No such problems with Firefox so far. But for several reasons we are stuck with IE for quite some time.
My research with google brought up nothing. Even the file-types are correctly associated. Anyone any idea what could cause this?


I have a .mkv video file which I cannot rename, move, or delete. Every time I do so this message shows: "The action cannot be completed because the file is open in windows explorer. Close the file and try again." If I try to delete the folder, a similar message pops up saying that a file is in use in another program.

I've done some searching on the Internet for solutions and have tried the following:
- restarting the computer and retrying
- using safe mode to delete the file
- running some commands
- downloaded the following software: CCleaner, FileASSASIN, Glary Utilities, and Unlocker

I downloaded Unlocker but never found a way to use it, so I downloaded the other programs, but none of them solved my problem. Furthermore, I tried re-downloading the file from a different website, was unable to replace the original file, and ended up with two undeletable files. I then tried to copy the file so I could at least have a non-problematic copy (this apparently worked for other people) and now I have three undeletable copies.

Please help!
(Note: If someone offers a command-type solution, I warn you I am a complete novice at typing commands so please give very detailed instructions. Thank you.)

We use PowerPoint to create on-line training. When saving the ppt files as webpages, a hidden folder and supporting files are created. My problem is NOT related to the PowerPoint conversion process. In FrontPage 2000, I could see all the hidden folders and hidden files created by PowerPoint. Now that I've converted over to FrontPage XP, I can't see those items. (Note: The ppt files saved as webpages were done previously in PowerPoint 2000.)

I bet you're thinking that I need to go to Tools , Web Settings , Advanced and check the box for Show hidden files and folders . It's ALREADY checked! (In Windows Explorer, I also display hidden files and folders.)

Does anyone know how we can get around this problem.

Hi all

This to me seems a HUGE HUGE vulnerability in some current AV packages.

I've got an ISOLATED machine which I use sometimes for specific AV testing.

Anyway I decided to "Infect it" deliberately with some spyware and a key stroke trojan and then take an image of the system with Acronis True image.

For example this one amongst others.

JS:FakeAV-W [Trj]

These "Archives" are .TIB files.

I then "uninstalled" the Acronis true image product (so the Archive can't be read via normal progams such as Windows explorer).

Now I then booted up a Clean computer (installed directly from the MS RC 7100 official CD with NO extra applications installed. I then installed only drivers from the Mobo CD and the AV software and copied the .TIB file on to a second partition on the "Clean computer".

Kaspersky, AVAST, etc all failed to detect anything on the .TIB file.

I only tried 3 AV software packages so the problem *might* be fixed in other systems.

This seems to be to be a HUGE flaw in some of these AV programs -- if you are restoring an Image you DEFINITELY want it to be clean.

However unless some of these archiving programs open up their formats to the AV companies this is a real potential risk.

So when choosing AV software make sure that backups / image files in the format of your backup software is also handled by the AV software.

Note I only tried "Free" or Trial editions so the "PRO version" might work.


Archive.pst and Outlook.pst getting too big for the existing directory on a rather small partition; need to move. I first shut down Outlook and tried copying the files from the current location to the directory, figuring I would then restart Outlook and go into File > Data File Management and "add" the new .pst files then delete the old ones. But I stalled at the first copy: Windows tells me it can't be moved because file is locked.

How does one accomplish a move of .pst files? And do the other files in the existing directory (.DAT, .KFL, .OBI, .TMP) need to go as well?

Until recently when I wanted to mass mail a message I could click on the first name in an address book, drag the scroll bar elevator to the bottom and shift click on the last name to select everyone in between. Simple enough. Our Exchange server has since been updated to 2000. Now when the elevator is dragged to the bottom of the scroll bar it doesn't get anywhere close to to the end of the list of names. Instead, the down arrow must be used to maneuver to the bottom of the list and when you shift click to select the final name the message "The action could not be completed" displays. This is happening in both Outlook97 and XP. Does anyone have any idea what is going on and/or can suggest an alternate means of selecting all the names in an address book? Thanks for any help you can offer.

An annoyance, but maybe it's fixable. If I edit a file, and then try to attach it to an email in Outlook 2010 the folder won't open to show the available files. The only way around it is to open the folder in a new tab, copy the file and paste it into the 'attachment' box (which first has to be opened by inserting a dummy file and then deleting it before sending). Any ideas? A search on the web hasn't produced any answers maybe because it's too hard to explain in a few words. I can't be the only one with this issue?

A weird problem - In Calendar view the checkboxes next to tasks are greyed-out so the task can't be ticked to mark it complete. I manage 20 odd identical PC's and this only applies to mine! I've gone through all the options and can't find anything relevant. Also tried opening a second PST file - the calendar view in that one was OK so maybe the problem is connected with the PST?
Obviously you can use right-click for the pop-up menu and use that to mark complete but it's a nuisance and I would be interested to hear if anyone else has come across this and, hopefully, found a solution!



We run our sales & accounting software on windows server (2008 i think). When I export a report to Excel, it saves it on the server.
I haven't figured out a way to get it to save locally, so then I navigate to the server from my Mac Book Pro, click on the file, and now get a message that the file can't be located. That perhaps it has been moved (obviously not). A few months ago it worked.

The only way I can get at the file is have someone move it from that server to our file sharing server. I can navigate to that and open the file.

Why can't Windows Server locate the file it shows me?