Windows 10 has a built-in tool that allows the user to view the processes that are using files. The how to know which process is using a file in windows 10 is an article about how to use this tool.
When you attempt to open, delete, move, rename, or edit a file, it fails because another application is using it, and Windows displays an error message that says “File In Use – the operation can’t be performed because the file is open in another program.”
In some instances, Windows may present you with an error message and inform you which application is utilizing the file, but in others, it will simply say “open in another program,” leaving you to figure it out on your own.
This tutorial will teach you how to find out which process in Windows 11 is presently utilizing a particular file and how to unlock a file that has been locked by a process.
In Windows 11, you can see which processes are utilizing a certain file.
Without downloading any third-party software, you can easily verify which process is consuming a file in Windows 11. You may accomplish this using Windows 11’s Monitor your resources tool or a command line in Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.
Resource Monitor is a built-in tool in Windows that enables you to track how much CPU, memory, storage, and network resources are being used by current programs. You may also look for the process that is utilizing and lock a file by entering the name of the locked file in the Associated Handles section.
- To get started, type resmon into the Start menu and press Enter.
- Go to the CPU tab in the Resource Monitor window.
- Then, to enlarge the section, click on Associated Handles.
- Type the name of the file that is locked by a program in the search box next to Associated Handles, then press Enter to search.
- Any process that is found to be locking the file will be returned in the search results.
In the example above, I have a file called sample.pdf that Adobe Acrobat Reader has locked. As a consequence, when I searched for sample.pdf in the Associated Handles, the search result was AcroRd32.exe, which was the process that was locking the sample.pdf file.
Once you’ve determined which process is locking the file, you can either manually close the application or stop the task through Task Manager to get access to the file.
Tip: You can also launch Resource Monitor by going to Task Manager > Performance > Open Resource Monitor (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
Command Prompt / Windows PowerShell
To find out which process is accessing a file using Windows Terminal (PowerShell) or Command Prompt in Windows 11, we’ll need to utilize Handle, a command-line tool that tells users which process is locking a file.
Handle, on the other hand, is not installed by default on Windows. To begin, go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/handle and download it.
The handle.exe is included in a zip file that you will be downloading. After you’ve downloaded the zip file, extract it to anywhere you wish.
To properly utilize handle.exe as a command line to determine which process is utilizing a particular file, right-click the folder where handle.exe was unzipped and choose “Open in Windows Terminal” to launch Windows PowerShell in this directory.
Enter the following command in the PowerShell window.
.handle.exe -a -u “path to the locked file” handle.exe -a -u “path to the locked file”.handle.exe -a -u “path to the locked file”
To identify the process that is locking my sample.pdf, for example, I need to run the following command.
.handle.exe -a -u “C:UsersalvinDesktopsample.pdf”.handle.exe -a -u “C:UsersalvinDesktopsample.pdf”
Use the following command instead of Command Prompt. Make sure the command prompt is open in the location where the handle.exe was extracted. Otherwise, instead of simply handle.exe, you’ll have to provide the entire path to handle.exe.
handle.exe -a -u “path to the locked file”
How do I unlock a file that has been locked by a process?
If you don’t care about knowing what process is really utilizing the file and simply want to delete, move, or delete it, you may use a program called Unlocker to unlock the file and execute actions on it directly.
The disadvantage of using this tool to unlock a locked file is that it does not reveal which process is currently accessing it. It will just attempt to kill any process that is locking the file.
Read How to Force Delete a File in Use by Another Program on Windows 11/10 to discover how to unlock a locked file using Unlocker.
This tutorial will teach you how to use ResMon, PowerShell, or CMD to find out which process is utilizing and locking a particular file in Windows 11 using ResMon, PowerShell, or CMD.
check which process is using a file linux is a command-line tool that allows users to check which processes are currently using files in Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you tell what process is using a file?
Windows 10 has a built-in tool called Task Manager which can be opened by pressing the Windows key and X.
How do you see what a process is doing in Windows?
A process is a program that runs on your computer. It can be a program you installed, an app, or even the Windows operating system itself. To see what a process is doing in Windows, open up Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and clicking on Task Manager at the top of the window.
How can I tell what program is open in another file?
There are a few ways to tell what program is open in another file. One way is to use the file properties of the file, which can be found by right clicking on it and selecting properties. Another way is to use the search for programs tool on Google.
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