At home, I would use the excellent LockHunter, but I am work and not allowed to install software, and LockHunter does not seem to have a portable version (feel free to correct me, as that would be the preferred answer).

One app has a supposedly locked directory; I have closed everything that I think could possibly be accessing it, to no avail.

At home, I would simply fire up Lockhunter and select "What is locking this file?" to know which app I have to terminate.

I could reboot, but have too many apps still open, and it is a major pain to reboot, passphrase, magic number for security dongle, password, then re-open all of those apps.

The company firewall prevents me viewing freeware/shareware sites. Is there any gratis Windows app which will tell me which app is locking a file or directory?

[Update] I have found this page an dwill be working my way through it. I will post my findings

  • 1
    Is this in a shared network directory or locally on your computer? – Sonamor Sep 10 '18 at 8:16
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    It is a local drive, but I would like to be able to handle both – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 8:35

For Network Shares on Windows Servers:

  1. Go to the Window Server where the network share "lives"
  2. Open Computer Management
  3. Open Shared Folders
  4. Open "Open Files" enter image description here
  5. Find which files are open and by whom.

For Local files:

You can use "Handle" tool provided by Microsoft which is a command line software.

Or the GUI version of it which is Process Explorer. Of course for both of this, you will need to have access to the files that you are trying to see why they are locked.

Last but not least, both are "portable" you don't need to install anything and also they come in a zip format from Microsoft, so no need to install 7zip or alternative software.

  • Alternative by Mawg:

There is also the NirSoft OpenedFilesView, which will display the handles of a file. Please note that NirSoft utilities might make a AntiVirus to display a false positive.

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    I also like nirsoft.net/utils/opened_files_view.html , but have not yet decided which I prefer – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 10:10
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    I am using NirSoft utilities extensively and I am sure that this is a great alternative but sometimes nirsoft utilities will make the AntiVirus display a false positive and block the executable. – Sonamor Sep 10 '18 at 10:20
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    I agree on both points (+1). They are great utilities & everyone reading this should check them out, and, yes, because they access a lot of low level system stuff, they do get false positives on many virus checkers. there is enough evidence online from security experts who have checked them out to set one's mind at ease; they are virus-free. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 10:29
  • Do you have any links to this evidence, it would be good to be present here. – Sonamor Sep 10 '18 at 10:32
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    Too busy with work ;-) Left as an exercise of the reader – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 11:34

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