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Copilot Reminded Me How To Find a File Handle


Recently I was trying to delete a folder and kept getting the “something is using this, try again” dialog. It was annoying, but I couldn’t figure out what process had this folder locked. I know there are ways to do this, but I decided to ask Copilot how to do this.

I did this in the Edge browser, since that’s the easy thing. Note: I was actually on Windows 10, not 11.

I got this response.

2024-05-21 11_28_16-2023-John S & Atieh V Jones-Workpapers-12.31.23 Jones, John S Organizer 23486 V1

I then hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc and got the Task Manager. From there, I can see Resource Monitor at the bottom of the Performance tab.

2024-05-21 11_32_12-Task Manager

I opened this and it started in the CPU tab. I typed in the name of my folder, and I saw that there was a CMD window open with the handle. I then realized I had a window in my list, which I exited.

2024-05-21 11_33_08-Resource Monitor

Once I did this, I could delete the folder.

It This Better?

Not necessarily. If I run a search, I see lots of results. In this case, any of these could be clicked, but in the past, I’ve often had to click multiple results to find something that works. I supposed Copilot could have given me a poor answer, and I’d have to refine the prompt, so the process might be the same.


Here I am working in one place and not clicking other links, potentially finding down sites, 404s, or other issues. It feels slightly cleaner. It also means I can have context if I refine my search.

I don’t know if it’s better, but I find myself leaving an Edge tab open to Copilot to try stuff.

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