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File Governor unlocks locked files and folders in Windows

Sometimes when you want to delete, move or rename a folder or file Windows refuses to do so. You may receive a message that the action can't be completed because the folder or file is open in another program, and options to try again or to cancel the operation.

Trying again won't usually make any difference and while you can go hunting for the program that keeps the file or folder locked, it may not be that easy to do so manually.

While you can close all open programs on your system hoping that the program locking the files or folders is among them, you are out of luck if a background process is holding it hostage.

That's where programs such as Unlocker come into play. These programs cut the tie between the file and program so that the operation can be completed.

folder in use

File Governor review

File Governor is a free program for Windows that provides you with a similar functionality. The program is available as a portable version and installer for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

Once you start it up, you can use the main interface to scan specific files or folders on the PC. To do so, you can click on the buttons to open a file browser, or use the mouse to drag and drop files or folders into the interface instead.

File Governor will scan the files and folders that you add and displays all processes that it can link to the data.

file governor

Each file is displayed with its process name and ID, the locked object, process path, type and handle.

The program makes available three actions to deal with the issue. It is possible to kill the process or processes that lock the file or folder, or use the unlock buttons instead which performs other operations such as unloading dll files so that you get full access to the files or folders again.

You can right-click on a line instead for additional options. Here you can for instance look up the file on Virustotal or perform a search for it on the Google search engine.

Other options include opening the local program folder or file properties. All of these options can be useful in analyzing the issue further before you use the unlock or kill option provided.

You can use the settings to add an entry to Windows Explorer's context menu so that you can run File Governor comfortably selecting it, use the utilities menu to open core Windows administrative programs such as the Task Manager or Registry Editor, or use the program's own tools menu forcefully delete selected files directly or on reboot.


File Governor is a handy program that can help you resolve issues with locked files and folders on Windows. One advantage that it has over the popular Unlocker is that it is regularly updated while Unlocker was last updated more than a year ago.

STill, if you already use Unlocker there is little reason to use File Governor, unless you make use of the additional utility and tools options that it makes available.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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