How to Delete Undeletable Files in Windows? The “Could not Find This Item” Error

Posted in Misc. on 24 August 2010 35 comments

Two undeletable files appeared on my desktop last week, no matter how hard I try to delete/copy/move them away, it can’t seems to work. After searching online, I found the way to delete them. I am going to rewrite the steps here, in simpler step-by-step guide, how you can delete those files:

  • Hold down Windows key + R to open the Run windows
  • In the input area, type in “cmd” to open “Command Prompt”
  • In command propt, you will see lines like “C:\Users\Your NAME>”
  • My undeletable file was located at desktop, so I type “cd desktop”
    So, my path is now “C:\Users\Your Name\desktop\”

    If your file is in desktop/folder1, you should type “cd desktop\folder1″

    If your file in in local disk C or D and you would like to start browsing from there, type “cd C:\” or “cd D:\”

  • Once you are in the correct folder or path, type “dir /x” and you will see a list of all files and directories
  • Each files and folders were given a shorter name. For example, my shortcut file “Google” was given a name called “GOOGLE~1.INK”
  • Now we will start deleting the undeletable file. For example, to delete the shortcut file, I type “del GOOGLE~1.INK”
    which is basically “del” followed by a space followed by the shorter file name.
  • It should be gone by now. So, who says it is undeletable :)


Posted by Zen on 24 August 2010 • 198,899 visits 35 comments

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tara says:

thanks for the easy instructions. I already deleted one of my annoying files. should have found this site years ago. thanks a lot!

AJ says:

I tried doing this and my problem about this is that the file didn’t show up in the Command Prompt

roo says:

i’ve been trying to delete some undeletable files FOREVER and not being much of a computer person, all of the other “run” “cmd” “dir /x” instructions from other forums and sites just went over my head (and led to a lot of “syntax errors” and “file not founds”). thank you SO much for breaking it down into something easy to understand and follow :)

SarahT says:

Thank you for sharing your expertise.

maulidarman says:

Mantap , Luar Biasa (Indonesia word for extra ordinary :)
These step by step procedure work for me and provide problem solving for condition that annoyed me.
Thanks Zen for your great posting :D

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