How to unlock and delete MKV files – file is used by Windows Explorer

Yes, happened to me too …. friend sent me a media file encoded in mkv format and I was able to play it under Windows 7, copy to my external hard drivedrive but could not delete from the disk. Once I clicked on the file and selected DELETE error message shows up:

…file is in use by Windows Explorer

Here are steps how you can delete the file from your disk:

  1. Go to START > RUN , type cmd, right click on cmd and make sure you select run as administrator
  2. Once you have the screen open navigate to the folder where is the file
  3. In my case I go to cd c:MEDIA and make sure the file is there I issue dir command to see list of files
  4. Now, before you can delete the file press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
  5. Task manager window will open and now go to PROCESSES
  6. Scroll down and find process explorer.exe
  1. Right click on explorer.exe and select END PROCESS
  2. Now go back to command line and delete the file del file.mkv
  3. Check one more time by issuing
  4.  dir and you should see the file is now gone
  5. Reboot your computer

That is it and I hope it helps you too.