How do I delete large files in Vista?

I have quite a few music and video files on my computer and don’t have any problems with them usually. However, sometimes I want to delete on of them and this doesn’t always work. I select the file and press Delete but after confirming that I want to delete it, I get a message saying that the file is in use and cannot be deleted. I’m pretty sure it’s not in use. What’s causing the problem?


I got this question from Mike who works for a dollar store franchise in the US. He keeps hitting this problem, which I have come across occasionally (particularly in Vista). What’s happening is that when you clock on the file Windows reads it to figure out what it is, tried to create a preview and gathers more information about it. The problem is that if the file is particularly large, this process can take a few seconds and if you try to delete it at this time Windows will complain that the file is in use.

This might sound counter-intuitive but windows is really trying to improve application availability by providing a consistent experience. The way to resolve this is to give Windows a few seconds to finish processing the file and delete it then. Just be patient and your delete will eventually work.

*chuckle* On an aside this must be the first time my advice consisted of “do nothing”

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