On Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, you may also have received the following error when copying or moving files or folders from one place to the other using File Explorer.
The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program.
The solution is contingent on several things. Here are several possible options for getting rid of the problem and copying, moving, or deleting a destination folder in Windows which won’t allow you to do anything with it.
Troubleshooting ‘The Action Can’t Be Completed Because the Folder’
Method 1: Shut Down All Programs You Can
Depending on some factors, you may not even be able to end all of the apps. And if that is the issue, shut the files you could and copy or move the folders or file which is causing the problem.
Method 2: Clean the Recycle Bin
Open the Recycle Bin then remove everything from it. This solution can be effective for you. Try copying or moving the file or any folder which is generating an issue after you’ve cleared the Recycle Bin.
Method 3: Use the Process Explorer
It is possible to use the Process Explorer of Microsoft to discover a process by using a document which you will be unable to relocate when you are on the Windows operating system. Process Explorer is similar to the Task Manager on Microsoft, but it is much more powerful. Instead of wasting time on Task Manager, go right towards the Process Explorer and it can save you some time as well as hassle.
The File Explorer process can restrict files from being accessed, so you’ll be able to open them after terminating the File Explorer process. To do this, simply follow the given steps:
Step 1: To enter Task Manager, use the keys Ctrl + Shift + Esc at the same time. When the Task Manager window appears, pick Windows Explorer and then hit on Restart.
Step 2: The Windows Explorer program will restart, therefore your issue will be resolved for the time being. Enter Task Manager and select the Details tab from the top.
Step 3: Locate and pick explorer.exe from the list of programs, then hit on the End Task option.
Step 4: Now, you have to click on the File and select Run new task from the menu.
Step 5: Type explorer in the search box and hit Enter or select OK.
Although restarting File Explorer is not the best option because it is conceivable that the problem can reappear, it is a reliable remedy that you should consider trying.
If you want to know how to terminate a task in your system, have a look at our step-by-step instructions, which will walk you through the process in just a few simple steps.
Method 4: Delete the Temp Folder from the AppData Folder
Enter % temp % inside the Command window box and hit Enter. The C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalTemp folder will be opened for you. Delete everything in this category. Since the data in a file might well be stored here, these may be conflicting with file transferring or copying. Remember that you can not delete each of the items as some would be used by other programs. That’s fine; simply close how many you can before attempting to copy or shift the folders or files that were causing the problem.
Method 5: Update Your Group Policy
You can easily fix the error “The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program” by simply updating the group policy setting. This is a rather simple process that can be done by following the steps below:
Step 1: Press the Windows Key + R key at the same time and type gpedit.msc. Now tap the Enter key or click the OK button.
Step 2: Locate File Explorer in the User Configuration section of the Administrative Templates category of Windows Components while the Local Group Policy Editor is activated. You have to double-click on the Turn off caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files item there on the right-hand side of the dialog box.
Step 3: Now, choose Enabled to make the policy active, and then click on the Apply as well as OK to save your changes.
After you’ve done this, all icons in File Explorer would be hidden, however, the issue will be gone.
Method 6: Stop the Preview Panel
When you’re using the Preview panel, an error message such as The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program may display.
Even though this functionality is useful, it can trigger this error to occur sometimes. Users have suggested that the Preview pane be completely disabled to resolve the issue. This is straightforward, and you may complete it by taking the steps below:
Step 1: By hitting the Windows Key + E at a time from your keyboard, you can access File Explorer. Now, navigate to the View tab as well as ensure that the Preview window is not selected in any way.
Step 2: After removing the preview window, you will be ready to make changes to your documents without encountering any difficulties. If you wish to rapidly deactivate the Preview window, you have to do this by pressing the Alt + P keyboard shortcut.
Step 3: This may be a temporary fix, however, it will prevent the problem from recurring.
Method 7: Modify your Registry
Making a few modifications to the registry may be necessary to resolve this issue if this warning message appears regularly on your computer.
Please remember that altering the register has the potential to be harmful, so proceed with extreme caution. To resolve this issue, you must perform the following:
Step 1: To open the registry editor, press Windows Key + R then type regedit. Enter the key or hit OK.
Step 2: Once the Registry Editor panel appears, browse to the following:
You will find it inside the left menu of the screen. Find and double-click the IconsOnly DWORD entry in the right-hand window.
Step 3: When the properties panel appears, inside the Value data text box, type 1 to display icons and 0 to display thumbnails. When you’re finished, hit OK and save your adjustments.
It is also possible to disable thumbnails by altering the registry values inside your computer’s system. Here’s what to do to get this:
Browse to the
HKEY CURRENT USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorerkey inside this left-hand menu of the Registry Editor box on your computer.
Step 4: There on the right side of the window, search for the DisableThumbnails DWORD. It’s necessary to establish the DWORD unless it isn’t present. To do so, right-click the blank space area in the context menu and select New and then DWORD (32-bit) Value first from the dialog box. Then, set the name of the new DWORD to DisableThumbnails.
Step 5: To view the properties of the DisableThumbnails DWORD, you have to double-click on it. Enter 0 in the Value data field, and afterward hit OK to save your change.
Step 6: Afterwards, inside the left menu, go to the following:
HKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer .
Search for the DisableThumbnails DWORD and change the data in its Value data field to 0. If somehow the DWORD is not already existent, you must first make that and then modify the data in its Value field.
Method 8: Deactivate Thumbnails
Another option for dealing with this issue is to completely disable items. If you prefer thumbnails, it may not be the perfect fix, but it may serve as a satisfactory workaround till you can find a more permanent alternative.
To turn off thumbnails, complete the following steps:
Step 1: Open file options by pressing the Windows Key + S at a time. From the drop-down menu, Choose File Explorer Options.
Step 2: Navigate to the View tab then choose the Always show icons, never thumbnails checkbox. To save your changes, hit on the Apply and then OK buttons.
The Performance settings can also be changed to prevent thumbnails from being displayed. Follow these simple steps to complete this:
Step 3: To access advanced system configurations, tap the Windows Key + S at a time. Select View advanced system options from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Inside the Performance tab, select the Settings.
Step 5: The Performance Options screen will appear. Locate the item Show thumbnails instead of icons then uncheck this before clicking on Apply and OK for saving your changes.
Step 6: Check to see if this error text appears even after you have entirely disabled thumbnails.
Method 9: Delete the TEMP Folders
If you’re receiving these regularly, The activity cannot be performed since the file is currently open in some other program issue message may be resolved by removing the temporary folders in your computer’s temporary folder.
When Windows creates temporary files, it keeps them in two temporary directories, and temporary files may be the source of this issue. You must manually delete all files to resolve the problem.
This is a reasonably straightforward procedure that can be completed by following the instructions below:
Step 1: Press the Windows Key + R key altogether and type % temp %. To confirm or hit OK, press the Enter key.
Step 2: When the temporary folder appears, erase all of the files contained within it. Press the Windows Key + R key together and type temp. To log in hit OK or press the Enter key.
Step 3: The temp drive will now be displayed. Remove any items from it.
Some users report that after removing the files, you have to update your group policy. so make sure to follow their instructions.
Users have reported that with CCleaner, you can simply clear temporary files inside temp folders, therefore when you have such an app installed, you may intend to make use of this feature.
Method 10. Disable your Homegroup
Several users have reported that they were able to resolve the issue by totally uninstalling Homegroup on the Computer.
Homegroups are important for transferring data between systems over a network, however, if you want to remedy the error, you may need to consider removing the Homegroup option on the affected computer first. Here’s what to do to complete this:
Step 1: Enter the home group by pressing the Windows Key + S altogether. Select Homegroup from its drop-down option.
Step 1: Select Leave the homegroup using the drop-down option.
Step 2: A drop-down menu will appear with several possibilities. Choose Remove the homegroup option from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: An automated confirmation message will appear when it’s in working order. To complete the process, hit the Finish. You will disable your services provided by the Homegroup when you have already left them.
Step 4: Press the Windows Key + R key altogether and type services.msc. To confirm hit OK, press the Enter key.
Step 5: The Services window will then be displayed. You have to Double-click on HomeGroup Provider once it has been located.
Step 6: Find the Startup type box inside the Properties panel that appears and update it to Disabled once the screen appears. To save your changes, hit on the Apply then OK options.
Step 7: Locate the HomeGroup Listener program, You have to double-click on it, and choose Disabled as the service’s startup type.
Finally, all you have to do is apply several updates here to the registry and you’ll be ready to go. Follow the simple steps given to get this:
Open the Registry Editor program.
Enter Computer/HKEY LOCAL MACHINE/SOFTWARE/CLASSES/CLSIDB4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78D-D1F5659CBA93 in the left sidebar of the window.
There in the right corner of the screen, make a new DWORD then enter the value System IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree in the name. Now, enter the newly formed DWORD as well as change the Value data to the value zero. Exit Registry Editor after you have saved your changes.
Homegroup is a convenient function, however, it might occasionally cause this issue related to a fault in the software. Disabling this function is not the most effective way to resolve this issue, but it may be necessary for some circumstances.
Few customers have reported that leaving their present Homegroup was sufficient to resolve the issue; therefore, it is possible that you will not need to deactivate the Homegroup program or make adjustments to the registry to resolve this issue.
Method 11: Configure Folder Windows That Open as Separate Processes So That They Can Be Closed When Not Needed.
For most users, you may be able to resolve this issue by configuring folders to load in new windows whenever possible. Follow the steps given to do this:
Step 1: Open the File Explorer Options window.
Step 2: Click on the View tab then select the item launch folder windows in a separate process from the default. To save your changes, hit Apply as well as OK.
As a result of making these modifications, all folders should open as distinct processes, and then you will no longer experience issues with such errors.
It has been claimed by a few consumers that now the selection to launch folder windows in a separate process is creating the problem; thus, if the choice to launch folder windows in a separate process is active, ensure to uncheck it and see if it fixes.
Method 12: Disable the Windows Search
According to several other users, this issue may be triggered by Windows Searching, and then to resolve it, you should completely stop this option.
When it comes to Windows, Windows Searching is a fundamental component, and if you’re using it regularly, you may want to ignore this method and try another one. If you want to turn off Windows Search, take these steps:
Step 1: To access indexing options, tap the Windows Key + S altogether. Indexing Options can be found here on Indexing Options drop-down box.
Step 2: The Indexing Options panel will now display on the screen. To make changes, hit on the Modify option.
You may now block index locations just by unchecking the boxes next to them. When you’re finished, hit OK and save your adjustments.
All that remains now is to turn off the Windows Search engine. Follow these instructions to do this:
Step 1: Enter the Services window on your computer. You can easily do this by tapping the Windows Key + R and typing services.msc into the Run box.
Step 2: When the Services window has been opened, find Windows Search here on the menu and you have to double-click on this to activate it.
Step 3: Disable the Startup type and afterward hit the Stop option to bring the service to a halt. To save your changes, hit on the Apply and OK buttons.
The issue will be resolved after Windows Search has been off. Always remember that by modifying the Indexing Options or just by stopping the Windows Search function, you may experience issues with specific features or programs.
If any issues arise, ensure to restore this to its previous condition.
Method 13. Use Unlocker
If you are experiencing difficulties accessing or deleting particular items for The action that cannot be completed because the file is open in another programming problem, you may be able to resolve the issue through Unlocker.
A simple utility that will enable you to release certain files that have been protected on your computer and then remove them from your computer. Because Unlocker is a quick to use it and 100% free program, it should be your first stop if you are experiencing any troubles with this issue.
Lockhunter is also a third-party tool that can assist you in resolving this issue. Only a few customers have stated that this tool has helped them to address their problems.
Method 14: Run the Clean Boot
Third-party software can sometimes conflict with your computer’s operation, resulting in this as well as other issues. In addition, some programs tend to automatically start using Windows, leading the issue to appear immediately after Windows is booted into the operating system.
To resolve the problem, you must first identify the faulty program. A Clean boot is the most straightforward method of accomplishing this task, which is also the quickest. Follow the given steps to do this:
Step 1: Press the Windows Key + R key altogether and type msconfig. Then, you can tab on entering or hit on the Ok.
Step 2: The System Configuration panel will display. Select Hide all Microsoft services from the Services menu on the left-hand side. Select the Disable all option from the drop-down menu that appears.
Step 3: Hit on the Open Task Manager under the Startup tab at the top.
Step 4: A list of the programs will then appear. You have to choose the first item in the list, as well as hit on the Disable option. Repeat the previous procedures for every entry on the listing.
Step 5: After you have disabled all of the startup programs, exit Task Manager then return to the System Configuration panel. To save your changes, hit Apply then OK.
Method 15. Use Command Prompt in Safe Mode
Users have suggested that you should try browsing your files through the Command Prompt. Users have suggested that they boot their computer into Safe Mode and then use Command Prompt further to change their files.
This is a simple procedure that can be completed by following the instructions below:
Step 1: Tap and hold on to the Shift Button while navigating to the Start and clicking on Restart in the drop-down list that appears.
Step 2: You have to choose Troubleshoot. Then, click on the Advanced options and navigate to the Startup Settings. Once you are there, hit on the Restart.
Step 3: Once your computer has been restarted, a context menu will display. By tapping the proper key, you may bring up the Safe Mode using Command Prompt menu then choose Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Step 4: When you boot into Safe Mode, Command Prompt will instantly launch on your computer. All you’ll have to do is go here to the problematic file then make the necessary modifications using Command Prompt.
You should remember that Command Prompt is a more complicated tool, and if you’re unfamiliar with it, you will need to understand the principles before you perform this method effectively.
Some people reported that you don’t need to utilize the Command Prompt to do this. Just start in Safe Mode and navigate to the problematic file, then you’ll be able to make changes to it without difficulty.
Step 6: To make the changes take effect, reboot your pc. You can also log out then log in again to the user account.
When you are facing such an error, try out the methods to fix it. Before applying any methods, check your operating system. Be careful, when you are using the command prompt.