Home > Think Tank > How to Deal With Can't Delete Empty folder File in Use 'Thumbs.db'?
August 8, 2014

How to Deal With Can't Delete Empty folder File in Use 'Thumbs.db'?

Now consider this, I just downloaded some photos off the internet. Now once I was done using them, I deleted the entire folder which was containing them. The process started.

But then suddenly out of nowhere, the ‘The action can’t be completed because the file is open in Windows Explorer’ notice appears. Even you try to press ‘Try Again’, but it did not work.

Below that, you can see ‘Close the file and try again’, you will see the name of file in use is ‘Thumb.db’

This file, i.e. Thumbs.db is not letting me delete the folder because it is in use.

Here is how to deal with it:

1. Close the Windows Explorer

2. Start it again and navigate to the file which is being deleted.

3. Open the file and 'Right Click' and press 'Refresh'.

4. Now go back to the earlier folder and delete the file now.

5. The file is now deleted !

Why does it happen ? What is Thumbs.db

Windows has special files kept for special purposes. This particular file here - Thumbs.db is a database file (.db stands for database). Database files are standalone files which are accessed by windows processes and other programs.

In this case, Thumbs.db stores the thumbnails of the files inside the folder. These are basically some images smartly kept so that the programs can rely on them for gathering the info. When you see a folder having a picture tagged on it, may it be the icon of the software which is in it or a video you might have kept inside you will now know that the thumbs.db keeps them.
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