Microsoft PowerToys Will Finally Tell You Which Process Is Using a File

Called the “File Locksmith,” this new PowerToy will identify any processes locking a file and let you end them at will.

Sometimes, Windows won’t let you erase a file, claiming that another program is using it… even if you have no idea which program that is. Fortunately, Microsoft will soon save the day with a PowerToy that identifies which program is locking up your file.

A New PowerToy: The File Locksmith

As spotted by Neowin, Microsoft is currently working on a PowerToy called “File Locksmith.” When you encounter a file that’s locked by a process, this PowerToy can let you know exactly what has its grip on the file you want to edit.

You can see how it works on the File Locksmith GitHub page. Whenever a file is causing issues, you can right-click it and select a new context menu called “What’s using this file?” This brings up a window that lists all the processes locking it, and gives you a button to kill them off if need be.

It’s still undergoing work; for instance, right now, the window doesn’t respect your dark mode settings for Windows. However, in terms of functionality, it’s already shaping up to be a great-looking tool.

It’s great to see Microsoft finally publish the File Locksmith PowerToy. For a long time, Windows users have suffered from files getting locked by unknown processes.

Usually, this is a good thing; locking the file away prevents the user from editing or erasing a file that’s currently in use. However, sometimes Windows won’t let you erase a file, even if there are seemingly no programs open.

Beforehand, you needed to use one of the methods to delete a file in use by a program on Windows. With this handy tool, however, you’ll have a quick and easy way to free up a file, no matter what’s locking it away.

Some New Toys to Play With

This new File Locksmith PowerToy is a great solution to a problem that has plagued Windows users for years. And while it works great now, here’s looking foward to what it looks like when it’s finally done.

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