The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program
Windows

How To Deal With The Action Cannot Be Completed Because The File Is Open In Another Program

Fix the error “The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program” by simple but effective solutions! Check this post out now!

You may encounter “The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program” when performing changes to your file or folder. Generally, it occurs when the file or folder is running or being used by the system. If you are in trouble with this error, this post will show you how to fix it quickly and effectively.

How To Deal With The Action Cannot Be Completed Because The File Is Open In Another Program.

Here are some common methods to guide you through “the action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program”:

#1. Open And Close The Folder Or File 

If you can’t modify a file because “the action can’t be completed because the file is open in another program”, the simplest thing to do is just open and close the file. Doing this makes sure that the file isn’t opened anywhere else. However, this is just a temporary solution. Let’s continue reading to find out more!

#2. Restart Windows Explorer

Another way of fixing “This action cannot be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program” is to turn Windows Explorer on and off again:

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

2. Scroll down to find Windows Explorer.

3. Choose Restart.

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

Restart Windows Explorer

#3. Restart Your Computer

Cannot find the source causing “the action cannot be completed because the file is open in system”? Just restart your computer, and you may be surprised by unexpected results.

#4. Hide Preview Pane

The preview pane is a feature provided by Windows. It allows users to preview a file but also leads to “the action can’t be completed because the file is open in system”. You can disable this function by:

1. Open Files Explorer (Windows + E).

2. Turn off the preview pane on the top left corner (Alt + P).

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

Hide preview pane

#5. Disable Thumbnails

A decent solution for “this action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program” is to disable the thumbnails. It isn’t the best one, especially for those who like thumbnails, but it will effectively end the trouble.

Follow these steps:

1. Press Windows + S and type in “file option”. Select File Explorer Options.

2. Open tab View and choose “Always show icons, never thumbnails”. Click Apply, then OK.

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

Choose “Always show icons, never thumbnails.

You can also disable thumbnail by Performance options:

1. Press Windows + S and type in “advanced system settings”. Choose View advanced system settings from the list.

2. In the Performance section, click Settings.

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

Click Settings

3. The Performance Options window will appear. Locate Show thumbnails instead of icons, untick the checkbox, click Apply, then OK.

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

Show thumbnails instead of icons

#6. Empty Recycle Bin 

This actually works in some cases. Sending files to the Recycle Bin might be treated as an action, thus creating the message “this action cannot be completed because the file is open in”. 

Right-click the Recycle Bin icon and select Empty Recycle Bin. Keep in mind that this will permanently delete any files in the Recycle Bin, so use this method only if you are sure about those files.

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

Empty Recycle Bin

Conclusion: 

“The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program” is just an annoying message that can be dealt with easily. We hope after reading this article, you’re able to solve and continue with your project.

lindawr

I'm Linda. I have 5 years experience in Information Technology. I'm now an writer for itprospt.

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