Are you looking to Fix – The Action cannot be completed because the file is open? If yes, then you have landed in the right post.
While Windows 10 has been a great operating system and handles everything, you throw at it in a considerably better manner. However, there are scenarios where you would find it throwing up errors, which are a little challenging to understand and resolve. Of course, when the error messages are genuine and let you know the things clearly, it would be quite easier to fix them. However, there are situations when the error messages are not clear and tend to be quite ambiguous. One such error messages that most of us tend to get confused is “the action cannot be completed because the file is open windows 10”. For the sake of today’s post, we will discuss what causes this issue and how to resolve it.
Well, the error message itself makes it clearly understandable, though it does not give a proper insight into what is causing the issue. You will encounter the error when you attempt to perform some action with the file affected by the problem.
When you attempt to rename, delete or move a file, you are likely to come across the issue that claims that you will not be able to act as another program is using the file on your computer. The problem is not a major one but can be quite frustrating because of the lack of additional information. While the error lets you know that some other program is using the file, it does not point you to the specific program that is holding the file hostage. What is worst is that the file may be under use by another program and you have closed it right away, and still you get the error message.
The error can create a lot of issues because it will not let you access a few files or modify them as you would want to.
We assume the fixes that we would be sharing here should ideally address most of your concerns in handling the situation to a considerable extent. Do note that there can be multiple reasons that can cause the issue and the solution that would fix the error can also considerably vary.
The File in Use or the action cannot be completed because the file is open Windows 10 error can come up because of a variety of reasons and pinpointing them may not be much easy. However, it has been observed to affect Microsoft Office files and PDF files.
Some possible reasons that result in this issue would include
Do note that these possible causes are only a few of them causing the file in use error. There may be several other reasons that can cause difficulty and annoyance.
Having understood what exactly is the File in Use error and what can cause it, here are a few fixes and solutions that should address it the error to a considerable extent. Let us explore them out one by one and check if it resolves the issue for you.
Like we have already mentioned, a file explorer can be a primary culprit when it comes to the File in use error. Restarting it can be one of the best options you can opt for. A file explorer provides you with an easy way to display the structure of files, folders, and drives hierarchically. You can use the File Explorer to copy, move, rename or perform a wide range of file operations.
Here are the steps you would need to follow for the functionality –
That does it. You should now find the problem gone. However, the fix may or may not resolve the issue permanently.
Quite unusual it may appear to be, cleaning up the Recycle Bin should be able to help you address the concern. Of course, there are no reasons to prove the efficiency of this solution. However, we do not see any issue in trying it out.
Here are the steps involved –
Once your Recycle Bin has been emptied, you will stop receiving the File In Use error message. The problem is likely to reappear as and when new files are added to the Recycle Bin. The best option if this solves your issue would be to stop adding files to the Recycle Bin.
This can be achieved by using the Shift + Delete option or hold the Shift key while deleting your files.
Removing the thumbnails of your device can be one of the best options for resolving the issue. In fact, Windows keeps a copy of your images, videos, documents and other files as thumbnails. This is done to ensure that the files can be displayed almost instantly.
It may help address the issue of File in Use problem by removing these thumbnails. This can be achieved using Disk Cleanup functionality. Disk Cleanup utility can help you reduce the number of unneeded files from your computer.
Follow the steps here –
The thumbnails should be gone now, and your issue should ideally be resolved.
Windows 10 uses the Thumbnail cache for storing the thumbnail images. This can be helpful enough in speeding up the display of images and other files. While it is a useful feature, you would want to remove the feature altogether if you are facing the File in Use issues regularly.
The thumbnail functionality can be disabled using your File Explorer. Here is how you would be able to achieve it –
Click on OK and save your changes.
When it comes to disabling the thumbnails, you can also use the Performance Options to disable the thumbnails. This can be yet another good option for disabling the thumbnails.
Here are the steps you can try to achieve it –
Once this is done, check if the error message still appears.
Registry Editor is a perfect solution for most of your tasks. However, ensure that you are careful enough with the editor. A wrong option and your computer may stop working. You can use the opportunity for disabling thumbnails.
Here is how you would be able to do –
Group Policy Editor is one of the excellent options for performing a range of services. It should be an excellent option to opt for. Do note that Group Policy editor is available only on the Windows 10 Pro edition. If you are on Windows 10 Home, you may be out of luck.
Opt for these steps to achieve it –
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer
That does it. Your thumbnails will be disabled in file explorer.
The ‘action cannot be completed because the file is open windows 10 error’ can appear if you are using the Preview Panel. Disabling the preview panel can considerably address the issue on your computer.
Here are the steps involved in resolving the issue –
Once the preview pane is disabled, you should no longer get the File In use error.
If you have been affected with The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program quite frequently, it may be a good idea to go with the option of deleting your Temp folder. The Temp Folder can play havoc with your Windows applications.
Here is how you can delete the Temp Folder on your Windows computer –
You can also use the third party applications to clear the contents from the temp folder.
Removing the Thumbs.db file in one of the above fixes. You can also use Command Prompt to remove the file. In fact, that would perhaps be a better alternative.
Here is how you would work with it –
del /ash /s thumbs.db
Those were just a few options you can use to get rid of The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program on your computer. We assume you should be able to address your concern by opting for any of the above solutions. In fact, multiple solutions can help you resolve the file in use error. A few other options you can make use of would include optimizing your folders, ending problematic processes, and launching each of the folders in their own processes.
Check out the tips outlined in this tutorial (Fix – The Action cannot be completed because the file is open) and share your experiences with us.
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