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Windows 7: Can't copy or move files - error message "open in other program"

29 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Can't copy or move files - error message "open in other program"

When moving or renaming files I frequently get an error messages informing me that "The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program". This typically happens with the second or third folder I try to rename or move. Navigating away to another folder and then coming back or closing explorer and reopening it usually helps but on the second rename or move I'm back to square one. I've been reading and searching on the forum and this is what I have tried so far:

stop the windows media player network sharing service
pause indexing
temporarily disable antivirus software
used the system file checker to check integrity

all to no avail. This is without a doubt the most annoying "bug" I have run into so far as it makes it virtually impossible to get anything done or organised. Has anyone found a real solution to this problem that does not involve manually unlocking every single folder before working with it (using 3rd party software - another option I have tried. Works but slows you down a lot)?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Dec 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

Hi linmix, welcome to 7F!

This may seem counter-intuitive, but, go to Control Panel >Folder Options >View Tab, and make sure the first box that says "Always show icons, never thumbnails" is not checked or ticked.

Restart your machine.
Try to replicate the problem.

See if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Is it a certain type of file that is giving you headaches or is any type of file?
I have not noticed it the problem and I have copied/ moved thousands of files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@Anek - Thanks for the idea, but I've checked and the box was unchecked.

@mpg1964 - It is folders that are giving me headaches. Files are always fine. The folder content doesn't matter. The last series I tried were mp3 files (hence the fact that I manually stopped the Windows Media Player network sharing service as this has provided some relief in the past) but it has happened with other folder content as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

The second post here by Martin Chabr: Unable to move or copy and paste files, getting error "File or - Microsoft Answers Explains it, somewhat, but if you read though the thread you will find disagreement with his explanation. There is some logic to it.

The links to the tools he offers may help to narrow this down for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #6

 
 

Windows 7 – The action can

#2 – stop windows from caching the thumbnails
start/run/gpedit.msc >
user config/admin templates/windows components/windows explorer >
look for “turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files” >
right click/ edit /choose enable


EDIT: Evidently Resource Monitor (via Task manager) allows you to search for an open file (via handle search):

http://windows7-tutorial.com/windows...le-being-used/



This one has you use Process Explorer (quick download, Sysinternals/Microsoft) to be able to search on a file or folder's handle to see which process might have it open.

http://dotnetrobert.com/?q=node/241
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks to both of you. It isn't a big comfort to know that quite a lot of people are having the same problems and even less that I need to go hunting for my own solution, but hunt I will, because this is driving me crazy. I'll come back here if I manage to figure out what's going on in my case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2012   #8

Windows 8
 
 

use a command line tool to copy the files, it will then skip errors for open files...
If you want to copy open files too use something like gscopypro from gurusquad
GuruSquad and look for gscopy pro

Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

While this may be a workaround, what really bothers me is that "open" files are not always actually open, or maybe Windows is very slow updating file status. I frequently can's delete folders because a file inside the folder is "open" when the only thing I've done is go into the folder to check its contents. It may be that Windows was making thumbnail icons in the background, but no amount of waiting will solve the situation. However, moving to another folder, performing an action there and then returning to delete the folder does work. ... very annoying!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

linmix,

Have you seen this thread or maybe you are in it? WINDOWS 7 BUG: Explorer Locks "thumbs.db" in most recently viewed folder Sure sounds familiar.
It is a rather long thread, but the first two replies seem to help, and I gave you incorrect advice in my first post.

"Always show icons, never thumbnails" should be checked or ticked; not "Always show icons, never thumbnails" is not checked or ticked.

One user found that it helps if s/he re-installs adobe reader.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't copy or move files - error message "open in other program"




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