Sometimes, when you try to move, delete or rename a file or folder, Windows refuses to do so and shows a message that the file(or folder) is in use by another program. This is because the handle to that file (or folder) is opened by a program intentionally or by mistake. Some malicious programs do this intentionally so that you cannot remove their files. But this can also happen by mistake of a programmer who forgot to design his program to close the handle. In any case, you can use the freeware EMCO Unlock IT to detect and remove any locked resources, files or folders.
EMCO Unlock IT is a freeware application for Windows that can be used to unlock the handles to the files or folders on your system. The program uses advanced programming techniques to unload modules, close remote handles, and terminate processes to remove the particular locked file. You can download it from the EMCO software website. The download is a setup installer using which you can install it on your system. After the installation, you can run it from its desktop shortcut.
Once EMCO Unlock IT window opens up, you can click on the Browse button to select the locked files or folders that you think are locked. After that you can either press the F5 button on your keyboard or click on the green colored Check button to see if these files or folders are locked by any program.
If the selected items are not locked, then you will see a messagebox informing you that they are not locked. If the selected resources are locked by a program, you would see a list of all the processes that are locking them. This would also make another tab Actions visible. You can switch to the Actions tab to see what actions you can take for the processes that are locking the selected file. Typically, you can kill all the processes, close all handles, close library handles (for locked DLL files) and close file handles.
If all goes well, all the files handles, library handles or processes shall be closed safely so that you can perform file operations on the selected files or folders.
In addition to using the main window of EMCO Unlock IT program to check for locked resources, you can also integrate it with Windows Explorer’s right-click context menu. This way you can just right-click on any file or folder and check to see if it is locked. If it is locked, you can unlock it easily from the context-menu itself.
EMCO Unlock IT is an impressive tool for unlocking the handles to files or folders. By unlocking the handles, it allows you to perform any file operations like renaming, moving or deleting them. But at the same time, the EMCO Unlock IT should be used with caution as not to unlock the handles set by Windows system itself as it can result in system crash.
You can download EMCO Unlock IT from http://emcosoftware.com/unlock-it.