There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to do something to a file only to find it’s been “locked” by another process. Windows will helpfully tell you it’s being used, but it won’t reveal what’s using it, leaving you second-guessing what to do next.

Alternatively you know exactly what program or process is locking the process – your word processor for example – but you’ve got loads of other documents open and don’t really want to have to shut down the application just to deal with one file. So what are you going to do?

IObit Unlocker offers a simple solution. Once installed, launch the app to manually select your file, or right-click the afflicted app and choose IObit Unlocker to launch it with your troublesome file selected. More files can also be added, either by clicking Add and browsing for them, or by dragging them into the open window.

If a file is marked as locked, IObit Unlocker will attempt to identify it – from here you can then opt to simply close the program in order to unlock the file. Alternatively, you can try and unlock the file simply by clicking the large Unlock button. To make things even easier, click the down arrow next to the button and you can attempt to unlock the file and either delete, rename, copy or move it.

If unsuccessful, tick the “Forced mode” box before trying again – IObit Unlocker will then attempt to terminate the process, which should unlock the file.

Note that this is the portable version of IObit Unlocker.


Does exactly what it says on the tin – small, simple and effective. Do use with caution, however – you could cause problems unlocking vital system files.