Unable to Delete Folder: Here’s How You Handle Corrupt Undeletable Files!


Clearing storage is one of the biggest concerns of any user. No matter how high storage drives you use, at the end of the day, all of them lack space. In the efforts to keep the drives optimized for space, the first thing that comes to mind is removing unnecessary files and folders. 

And while you are trying to do so, you might come across a few files that, no matter how many times you delete, keep coming back, or worse, are never deleted. 

These files that you are unable to delete are corrupt. If you have experienced a similar situation and don’t know why it is happening, you have come to the right place. Here, we will explain why you cannot delete certain files and how to delete undeletable files.

Let’s start the post by learning more about the issue and its causes.

What Makes Corrupt Files “Undeletable”?

A corrupt file is a damaged file that has lost its ability to perform any function.

They are non-functional. You can neither open these files nor delete them. Whenever you try to remove them from your system, you come across an error prompt that looks something like this – 

An unexpected error is keeping you from deleting the file.

Error 0x80070570: The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable.

Not only this but sometimes, the corrupt files repeatedly appear despite deletion. Such corrupt files result from malware that might be bugging your PC.

One of the core reasons making a file go corrupt or keeping you from deleting a corrupt file can be – 

  • The file is being used in a process somewhere, in that case, you can’t delete the folder in use too.
  • The file results from a sudden power cut or forced/improper shutdown.
  • The file is infected.
  • You only have read-only access to the file.
  • The drive used to store the file has disk errors.

Since all these reasons make a file lose its functional capabilities, removing these files becomes a tough task, and hence a common user terms it as “undeletable.” However, there are multiple ways you can force delete corrupted files. Check them out in the next section.

Ways to Delete Corrupt Undeletable Files

Way #1 – Delete Corrupt Files Using Command Prompt

To remove a file, if you have tried using the Delete and Shift+Delete keys, and the files are still there, then the command prompt might help!

Here’s  what you need to do – 

Step 1 – Go to the start menu of your PC.
Step 2 – Search for Command Prompt using the search bar.
Step 3 – Click Run as Administrator to open cmd as admin in the relevant result. Many users have complained “can’t delete folder even though I am administrator windows 10”,so make sure you only run the application in Admin mode.Run as Administrator in command promptStep 4 – In the command prompt window, use the command –

Del /F /Q /A < file path > press Enter. Where,

“/F” means to force delete files

“/Q” means to delete read-only files,

“/A” means to select files with the archiving attribute.

Step 5 – Once you have used the command, your files should be deleted.

Remember, the del command bypasses the Recycle bin. Therefore, ensure you mention the correct path; failing to do so might remove the wrong files, and you can’t undo the file removal.

Way #2 – Delete Corrupt Undeletable Files in Safe Mode

You can use Safe Mode to remove files and delete a folder that is not empty if the Command Prompt cannot handle your request. 

Safe Mode is the raw form of the operating system that only has the necessary features enabled. If the corrupted files are indulged in a process, Safe mode stops them from running, and you can easily delete them.

Here’s how you use the Safe Mode – 

Step 1 – Press Windows + I to open settings on your Windows PC.
Step 2 – In settings, scroll down to find the option Recovery.
Step 3 – In Recovery options, click the Restart button given in parallel to Advanced Startup. click Restart button given in parallel to Advanced Startup Step 4 – When the system reboots in the recovery mode or Advanced Startup Mode, press the option as shown to enter safe mode.

Step 5 – Once you have booted into safe mode, simply go to the file location, and you should be able to delete the file. 

Way #3 – Delete Corrupt Files Using Secure Delete by Advanced System Optimizer

Download Advanced System Optimizer if the abovementioned methods seem too much work and technical. It has a dedicated module called Secure Delete that permanently wipes off files forever

If the corrupt file you want to delete keeps returning, use Secure Delete.

Here’s how it works – 

Step 1 – Download Advanced System Optimizer and install it on your PC. 

Step 2 – Open the app and navigate to the Security & Privacy tab in the left panel. navigate to the Security & Privacy tabStep 3 – In the Security & Privacy panel, you will find the Secure Delete option. Secure Delete option in security and privacy tabStep 4 – Click on Select Files to add the file. wipe files and foldersStep 5 – To add a file, use Add File button and browse the location. However, if you want to delete a folder, you can use the Add Folder button.
select files and folder to delete permanently

Step 6 – Click Next to proceed. 

By default, Secure Delete uses the Fast secure delete wiping method. If you want to change it, click Change and select your desired method. 

select method in secure delete

Step 7 – After selecting the wiping method, click Continue.

Step 8 – Click Next.

Step 9 – Confirm the action by entering the number on the screen and clicking Next.files and folders selected for wiping

Wait for the process to finish. Remember, once you delete a file using Secure Delete, there is no way you can restore the file. Even if you use a recovery tool, you won’t be able to retrieve the files.

This will help remove corrupt files never to return and cause you a headache. In addition to this, you can use Secure Delete to clean Recycle Bin, wipe clean the entire drive, delete files only, and can even wipe free space. This helps recover valuable space and avoid recovery of files you don’t want anyone to ever have access to.

wipe drive tab in advanced system optimizer

Deleting the Undeletable is Now Possible!

With the help of the above-mentioned methods, you can delete all the corrupt files that appear impossible to remove. These ways are tried and tested to do the job for you, so you can easily rely on them. 

Download the Advanced System Optimizer to cut the hassle and delete the files instantly with zero residues.

That’s all for this blog. In the comments, Let us know about your method to delete undeletable corrupt files. Thanks for reading. Good luck!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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