Fix: the action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program


Windows 10 was launched quite a while back, và it brought in many features that helped increase the ease of use of your device. While it may not be perfect, the development team is certainly making efforts to lớn increase the efficiency of users using this operating system.

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Be it a new Windows PC or old, you will face some kind of error sooner or later on it. One of the most common errors is the one that says ‘The kích hoạt cannot be completed because the file is mở cửa in another program’. While this may not seem like a particularly serious error, this can quickly become annoying, because you will not be able lớn make any changes to lớn your Windows PC.

People usually get this error while trying to lớn rename, move or delete a particular tệp tin from file Explorer. This action can’t be completed prompt can become very annoying, as users have no information where or under which process the said tệp tin may be open.


We have shown a đoạn clip walk through at the end of the post for easy solution.


1 How to lớn Solve “The kích hoạt Cannot Be Completed Because The file Is mở cửa In Another Program”?

How khổng lồ Solve “The action Cannot Be Completed Because The tệp tin Is open In Another Program”?

Since the error is dealing with a misbehaving process, which is causing the said blockage. Lớn resolve this, the basic idea is lớn close the corresponding application that is causing the error. Another reason may be that the tasks which were completed, are not yet entered into the sự kiện log, therefore Windows still considers the file mở cửa in other apps.

Here, I shall discuss how you can solve the error when you get the message ‘file is open in another program’.

Solution 1: Try và Locate The file In Task Manager

Task manager in Windows 10 is a very powerful tool in terms of monitoring system tasks. If a persistent application is preventing the actions in tệp tin Explorer, find the application associated with the file.

Open task manager using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc.Under the Processes tab, locate the application that you think may be associated with your file.Right-click on the selected application, & click on End task from the revealed context menu.

Now try performing the kích hoạt again that was earlier showing the ‘This action cannot be completed because the tệp tin is open’ error.

Solution 2: Restart file Explorer

This is a simple workaround that may help you overcome this issue. If you face this issue, follow the steps to lớn restart explorer.exe:

Open Task Manager. Press Win + X to xuất hiện the Windows menu and select Task Manager.In the Processes tab, navigate lớn Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) in the list of running processes.Right-click on it & click on End task.Go lớn File. Select Run new task.In the Run window that opens, type explorer.exe & press Enter.


This will restart Windows Explorer. This is done to clear any outdated cache, or locked up memory, which may be causing the ‘The kích hoạt cannot be completed because the file is xuất hiện in another program error’.

Solution 3: Restart Your Computer

A simple restart may help you solve your error, eliminating the need to lớn deploy other complex solutions. A restart will pack kill all the pending tasks, và may also clean the locked up resources which may indirectly be causing the error on your device.

However, if the restart did not help you, here are some other simple workarounds, which may help you solve this issue on your device.

Solution 4: Release The Local Thumbs.Db Handle

The thumbnails cache is one of the prominent reasons why users face this error. Even Microsoft has acknowledged this và has produced a simple method lớn solve this error.

What you will be doing is turning off the caching of thumbnails in the hidden thumbs.db file. When you do this, tệp tin Explorer will not create, read from or write the thumbnails cache of items khổng lồ the said file. You can bởi vì this using the group policy editor. Simply follow these steps:

Open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R.Type gpedit.msc and press Enter khổng lồ launch the Local Group Policy Editor.From the left pane, navigate lớn the following path:User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsFile Explorer


In the right pane, locate và double click on the following Policy entry to lớn modify it:Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db filesClick on the radio button next lớn Enabled.

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Click on Apply followed by OK.

After doing this, all the thumbnails will be disabled in your tệp tin Explorer, but you should be able to carry out your desired action easily. Once it is complete, you can change the value of the above policy to Not configured.

If you are on Windows 10 Home, you vì chưng not have access khổng lồ your Local Group Policy Editor. You can either bring back the group policy using our guide or use the registry editor khổng lồ make the same changes. To vì chưng so, follow these steps:

Export your registry khổng lồ make a backup of the same, and keep it secure in case you need khổng lồ restore it if something goes wrong.Navigate to the following location by pasting this path in the address bar of the Registry Editor:ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsExplorerLocate và double click khổng lồ modify on the following DWORD 32-bit file:DisableThumbsDBOnNetworkFoldersChange the value of the entry lớn 1. Click on OK.Restart your computer.

This makes the same changes as the group policies change, & you shall not be able to see thumbnails but your error should now be resolved.

Solution 5: Delete The TEMP Folders

Windows usually stores temporary files in two different files. If you repeatedly get this error on your device, you might try deleting the temporary files which may have been showing the ‘this kích hoạt cannot be completed’ error. Simply follow these steps if you do not know how to:

Open a Run dialog box by pressing Win + RHere, type %temp% in the đầu vào field and press Enter.


This will mở cửa the C:Users~1AppDataLocalTemp folder. Here, press Ctrl + A khổng lồ select all the files, and right-click và select Delete from the context menu.


Close this window.Again, open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R keys.Here, type temp & press Enter.


This will xuất hiện the C:WindowsTemp Here, press Ctrl + A khổng lồ select all the files và right-click và select Delete from the context menu.


Using this method, you can clear the temporary files on your system manually.

Solution 6: over COM Surrogate Process

Microsoft’s Component Object mã sản phẩm (COM) is a platform-independent, distributed, object-oriented system for creating self-interacting binary software components. COM specifies an object mã sản phẩm and programming requirements that enable COM objects khổng lồ interact with other objects on your computer.

This process is sometimes known to cause this error on Windows 10 devices as reported by many users. Terminating this process might kết thúc up solving your ‘The action cannot be completed because the tệp tin is mở cửa in another program’s error.

You can terminate this process from the task manager. Press Ctrl + alt + Delete or Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard or right-click the Start menu & select “Task Manager“. Under the “Processes” tab list, find “COM Surrogate” và right-click it, và then select “End Task“.


Solution 7: Empty The Recycle Bin

Some users have reported a seemingly unrelated solution that has helped them solve this problem. Many people usually send the deleted files to the Recycle bin, và that may over up being registered as action and display the ‘This kích hoạt cannot be completed because the file is open’ error.

On your desktop, simply right click on the Recycle bin, and select Empty Recycle Bin. This shall clear all the contents from the recycle bin, và hopefully solve the error on your device. If you bởi not want to send files to Recycle Bin, use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Delete lớn delete the file from your system permanently.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it. If you too were facing the ‘The action cannot be completed because the file is xuất hiện in another program’ error on your device, now you know how to lớn solve this using the methods provided above. Do phản hồi below if you found this useful, & to discuss further the same.

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