World Tech

How to Delete a Ghost File or Folder in Windows 10

I sit down with my computer in my home office, and they tell me that the hard drive is “dying”. I don’t need to go into detail about what was on there or what I’m losing, but suffice to say that I’ve looked at several solutions, and each time I’ve discarded them. (My computer is on the other side of the country, so I can’t really test drive any of the solutions.) I’m sick of seeing the ghost files and folders on my desktop, so I decide to see if there’s a way to delete them, permanently.

To delete a ghost file or folder in Windows 10, right-click on the file or folder in question and select Delete. Or, you can delete a ghost file or folder with these steps: Go to the Start Menu (or press Windows key + X) Click on File Explorer Right-click on the file or folder you want to delete and select Delete

A ghost file is a file that is still visible in File Explorer, but Windows gives an error message not found or file not found when you try to delete it. It is there, but at the same time it is not there. In this guide, you will find several solutions to get rid of a ghost file or folder in Windows 10. word-image-11438

Removing a ghost file in Windows 10

An error that can occur when you try to delete a problematic ghost file in Windows 10 – Item not found – This is no longer in this folder. Check the location of the item and try again. This can also happen if you try to delete a folder that contains nothing. To remove the ghost file in Windows 10, you can try one of the following solutions. The following solutions also apply to Access denied to files – When you delete a file or folder, you must be authorized to perform this action.

Solution 1 – Reboot the PC and try again

The not found object problem often occurs due to an error in the file explorer, which displays the file when it has already been deleted and no longer exists in the current Windows session. In many cases, the ghost file simply disappears on the next reboot. Try restarting the computer to see if the file is still there. If it’s still there, try deleting the ghost file or folder again.

Fix 2 – Delete ghost file in protected mode

Try deleting the ghost file or folder in safe mode. Activating safe mode ensures that the file is not used or blocked by any software or program. To enter Safe Mode, go to the Windows 10 Start menu and click the power button. Then click the Restart button while holding down the Shift key. word-image-3932 When the boot settings window appears, press the 4 key to enable safe mode on the next boot. word-image-11439

After switching to safe mode, try deleting the shadow file or folder again.

Bugfix 3 – Using the RD command on the extended command line

The rd command is used to delete an empty directory and, alternatively, to delete a directory and all its contents. The extended command line is a command line session with administrator privileges. To run the rd command, you must first run the command line as an administrator.

  1. Search for cmd or command line in the Windows 10 search bar.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.


  1. In the command prompt window, type the following command.rd /s PathToTheFolder

For example: rd /s C:CantDeleteThis The /s parameter instructs the command to delete all files and subdirectories in the directory. word-image-11441

  1. The Ghost folder should now be removed.

Fix 4 – Use a removal software like Unlocker

There are many file deletion programs that are capable of forcibly deleting a file or folder in Windows that cannot be deleted. We recommend Unlocker from IObit. This is one of the most popular tools, known for its ability to unlock a locked file or folder for a program or software so that it can be deleted, moved or renamed. You can download Unlocker from After downloading, install it. To unblock and delete a file or folder, right-click on the shadow file or folder. Then select IObit Unlocker from the pop-up menu. word-image-11442 In the Unlocker pop-up window, select Forced mode and then click Unlock to unlock the file. After unlocking, try deleting the shadow file or folder again. word-image-11443 If you wish, you can click on the drop-down list next to the Unlock button to see the other available options. Select Unlock and delete if you want Unlocker to also remove the file for you. Description to share: Windows gives the error Item not found when a file or folder is deleted? Learn how to force a ghost file or folder to be deleted in Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove ghost files from my computer?

Ghost files are left behind when you uninstall software, but you don’t want them taking up space on your hard drive. Windows 10 allows you to delete ghost files, but there are some tricks you can use to make the process easier. To delete a ghost file or folder in Windows 10, right-click on the file or folder and choose Delete. Some ghost files can be recovered with Disk Cleanup, but it’s a slow and cumbersome process, so try to avoid it. After Windows 10 was released to the public, many users purchased the new operating system and began to notice that files and folders started to disappear. Some of the files are gone forever, while others can be recovered using Windows tools. If you are experiencing this issue, follow these steps to remove the ghost files and restore your system to normal.

How do you delete Undeletable files or folders?

While Windows 10 is an amazing operating system, sometimes there are files or folders that we’d rather not keep. Perhaps you want to clear some space on your hard drive or delete a file you accidentally deleted. Whatever the reason, there’s a way to delete these types of files or folders. Windows 10 has an internal file system called “OneDrive”, which stores all of the information that you’ve entered in the OneDrive app. It’s a good idea to back up your files regularly, so it’s worth knowing how to delete files that are stored in your OneDrive folder.

How do I delete undeletable files in Windows 10?

Microsoft has made some real improvements to Windows 10 over the course of the last couple of years. One of the biggest changes is the automatic cleanup of files and folders that are no longer in use. In Windows 7, deleting a file or folder would leave a “ghost” behind on the disk, which could cause problems if you deleted a file that was needed in the future. Windows 10 has a different system, where files and folders can be deleted without leaving ghosts behind. You may have seen the following message box when trying to delete (or move or rename) a file in Windows 10: “This file or folder has been moved or renamed. The old location will not be available. Please use the following location to delete this file: C:\Users\Your_Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\QJ4G6U9D\Windows.old\Windows How Do I Get Rid of It? If you’ve followed the instructions above and you’re still finding your files “persistent” on your system, move onto the next section. Otherwise, you can also use this tool to delete the file: ~~

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