Having a mysterious file appear on your desktop, and for no apparent reason, is strange enough. But what's really annoying is when you try to move or delete it, Windows tells you that the file can't be touched because it's being used by something else. So what's going on?

OpenedFilesView is a simple tool to help you understand and deal with these and similar situations. Run the program, and, after a delay of a few seconds while it scans your system, you'll see a list of all the files currently open on your PC, as well as the process using each one. Find your file, close the process accessing it - as long as it's nothing system critical, of course - and problem solved, the file will immediately become available to you.

If you find you can't close the process, then OpenedFilesView has another trick that might help - at a cost. Right-click your locked file, click "Close Selected File Handles", and OpenedFilesView will free up the file for you, allowing you to delete or move it.

Sounds good? Yes, but there's a problem. If the application that was addressing the file tries to access it again, then there will be an error. The program may crash, and if it's something important then the rest of your PC may, too. So we'd recommend you don't manually closed files unless you know exactly what you're doing, and there's no alternative - it's just too risky.

Version 1.70:  

  • Added 'Close Processes Of Selected Files'. As opposed to the 'Kill Processes Of Selected Files' option that brutally kills the process, this option sends a request to the application to close itself as soon as possible (using WM_QUERYENDSESSION and WM_ENDSESSION Windows messages).
  • Added closeprocess and killprocess commands to the /closefile and /closefolder command-line options, which allow you to close/kill the process instead of closing the file handle, for example: 
  • OpenedFilesView.exe /closefile closeprocess "c:\myfile.txt"
  • Added 'Elevated Process' column.
  • Added new information to 'Attributes' column: 'T' for 'Temporary File', 'I' for 'Not Content Indexed', 'E' for encrypted file, 'X' for 'No Scrub File', and 'V' for 'Integrity Attribute'.

Verdict

A simple and effective tool that will tell you more about the files being accessed on your system. Not for the PC novice, though - choosing the wrong option can have disastrous effects. Use with extreme caution