Sometimes when you need to install, run or close a program in Windows 10 you may come across an error message: “Another program is currently using this file”.
This warning tells you that the OS won’t let you install, open or close that program until you close the program that is using it.
At first, it seems as if it’s easy to solve the problem, you just need to close the program, which doesn’t allow us to take the actions we need to take. However, when it comes to identifying the program, it isn’t so easy.
How to fix ‘Another program is using this file’ error in different ways
So, if you’re wondering exactly how to find and close the right app, about that next:
How to fix ‘Another program is using this file’ error with Task Manager
If Windows 10 says this file is being used by another app, and you can’t find the right one, it’s wise to close all apps running in the background.
The easiest way to do this is to use the Task Manager. To do this:
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete simultaneously on your keyboard.
- You’ll go to a blue screen with a short menu in the middle of the screen. Among the available options, select “Task Manager”. After this, the main screen of your PC or laptop will be loaded again. The only difference is that you’ll see an active Task Manager window.
- Navigate to the Task Manager window, and then to the “Processes” tab.
- Next, you can find the desired program among the active processes. Right-click on the program. From the options that appear, select “End Task” to close it.
If the error message doesn’t specify which program is using the file, close any unnecessary programs. Check if the error has disappeared.
How to fix ‘Another program is using this file’ error via logging out and logging in again after this
As always, if something goes wrong, the first thing you do after the suggested solution to the problem is to reboot. The second action after that is likely to be to log out and log back in.
Because in both cases the system manually closes the open programs, and in the second case even the ones you configured so that they’re enabled on startup, this may help you to solve the problem.
Some users have been able to fix the error simply by logging out of their accounts. Log out and lock your screen. Then log back in and check to see if the file is being used by another app.
How to fix ‘Another program is using this file’ error with DISM and SFC
If you have corrupted system files on your device, they’re most likely what caused the error. It may also be just a temporary failure.
In such cases, it’s best to use DISM and SFC. They’re two handy tools that you can use if some programs don’t work as you should. In order to use them, you need to:
- First enter “cmd” in the Windows search box.
- Next, right click on Command Prompt. From the available options, select “Run as administrator”.
- Once launched, run this command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.dism restore health windows 10.
- The next command should be: sfc /scannow and press Enter. Run the SFC command line.
- When you run the commands, check if you keep getting the same error. If the error still appears, reboot your computer and check again. If the error persists after rebooting, move on to the next solution.
How to fix ‘Another program is using this file’ error with Disk Cleanup
You can also try running the Disk Cleanup program to clean the disk and remove unnecessary files. Temporary files can also be the cause of the error. To do this, follow the steps listed below:
- First, type “disk cleanup” in the Windows search bar.
- Double-click Disk Cleanup to launch the tool.
- Select the drive where you installed Windows and programs.
- Next, identify the files you want to delete and select them from the list.
- Once you have checked all the files you don’t need, click the OK button. This will start the cleanup process, after which you need to restart your device.
The ultimate, most radical method would be to reset your device to factory defaults. However, it’s better to resort to it only after you have tried all the above methods.
Also, think about whether the problem with a single app is worth all your accounts, information stored on the device, and all the settings you have made during the operation.