Delete or Remove undeletable file and folder in Windows 7 by taking ownershipToday, there was a strange encounter with a file inside a folder or to be precise say a .FLV file downloaded off Youtube refused to obey any normal file system command requested. I have Windows 7 Professional 32 bit , it's kind of new to me and there are lot of things yet to be discovered.
Once in a while, I organize my downloads and then I back it up. While doing so, this one .FLV file took forever to respond. The problems I faced were:
- It wouldn't move to other folder or location at all, Windows Explorer just takes forever and keeps showing with 'discovering/calculating' message
- Tried to rename the file, and the explorer window didn't respond. When I fired further clicks, I saw 'Not responding' at the window's title bar.
- Then I tried to delete it, and it wouldn't delete. Pretty adamant.
- I tried to check the properties of the file and my Windows 7 acted like nothing happened. I did that several times and saw no effect at all. It didn't show me any window or any message box. That was strange.
- Now, I really needed to get this thing off my system. I did malware checks. I found out it's clean. I rebooted in safe mode(F8 key during bootup) and tried to delete it with no luck. I saw it has lock icon on it. After seeing, lock icon I thought some encryption is preventing me to do things.
- Back to normal mode, I tried to disable the Bitlocker encryption of Windows 7 but found out and remembered, encryption was already disabled.
- I installed Unlocker for Windows 7, hoping that would definitely delete the culprit. But even my favorite tool in XP failed in Windows 7.
- I had this kind of problem in Windows XP when filename or folder name is awkwardly long and saved in last sub folder of many folders hierarchy.( eg: c:\folder1\folder2\folder3\folder4\folder5\long file name) In those cases, I simply start to delete from last subfolder and it works. I checked if it's the same issue in Windows 7 and it was not.
- I tried to run that FLV file and out of shock it played. Hmmm...
More searches, I found there was this little registry hack which will let you 'Take Ownership' of the file manually. I clicked, downloaded and run the registry hack. There was 'Take Ownership' shortcut menu added to my context menu. I right clicked on that FLV file, clicked 'Take Ownership' and voila. I could move the file , rename it or even delete it. The whole drama was because of this mismatched file permission settings.
Afterward, I tried to find if there is automatic Ownership of all files and folders under Administrators right in Windows 7 and I couldn't find a single solution for that. May be Windows 7 is not meant to be that way.
NOTE: This should work for all undeletable files and folders in Windows 7, can't delete file or folder in windows 7, can't remove file or folder in windows 7 , kind of things.