To eject a USB device I do:

enter image description here

which sometimes give me the following error message:

enter image description here

This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device, and then try again.

I am looking for a program on Windows to show which programs that is a given USB device in order to solve this issue.

Preferably the program should be able to kill all programs that is using files on the USB device, and tell whether the programs are actually using them (i.e. presence of I/O activity).

  • While it isn't an exact duplicate I agree - some of the possible answers for that might not work for this but I'd be surprised if it was more than 1 or 2. Apr 14 '14 at 22:24
  • I added 2 useful optional requirements to underline the difference. Apr 14 '14 at 22:48
  • Adding optional requirements doesn't really narrow it down. Any answer to the other question still fits your necessary features, and may match your optional requirements. Apr 14 '14 at 23:06
  • Off-topic: from the screenshot, you keep your battery charged to 100%. This can significantly shorten its lifetime. I recommend checking tools provided by your laptop manufacturer to keep your battery charged at lower level. Charge to 100% only before traveling. (There is no general solution in Windows for that, tools are provided by manufacturer of specific hardware.) For example. on my Lenovo these tools keep the battery level at 60%.
    – miroxlav
    Apr 15 '14 at 10:30
  • It seems you won't get more answers for this Q until it is "decorated". If any of answers was helpful, think about marking it. If not, you can consider editing the question (or its removal).
    – miroxlav
    Apr 23 '14 at 0:07

The people who like to live with minimum set of tools (who avoid having amounts of single-purpose tools) can utilize ProcessExplorer – extended task manager from Microsoft, free. It can be also used to reveal locking processes easily:

  1. Press CtrlF in ProcessExplorer's main window
  2. Enter drive letter (or file name) (generally – any part of file path)
  3. Press Search to get the results
    enter image description here

Moreover, If you select an item from the above list, appropriate file handle gets selected in lower pane of main window (which sits on the background). Context menu of the file handle contains Close Handle command.

Basically you get access to the same results/actions you get with single-purpose Locker tool. ProcessExplorer is lightweight, portable, it is single EXE to run, no installation.


You can use Unlocker:

  • free
  • works on Windows
  • list processes that lock a given path (and can kill processes if needed):

enter image description here

  • Whenever I open the installer, Kaspersky warns me it's trying to silently download a DLL (to prepare to drop third party software?): i.imgur.com/kPIUuva.png Sep 9 '15 at 19:52
  • @ChristopherWoods Weird, I do use Unlocker on my PCs, looked harmless. But this bitool.dll indeed looks suspicious. Sep 9 '15 at 19:53

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