Find Which Program Is Using This File in Windows

You may have often wanted to use a file, delete it, rename it, or modify a particular aspect of it. Still, Windows does not allow you to do so because the file is being used by another process or application on your computer. Finding out which process or application uses a particular file is somewhat tedious, and users have encountered this problem for quite some time now. Microsoft has devised a perfect solution for this issue with the new Windows Powertoys. In this article, we will tell you how to find which program is using a file in Windows.

Find Which Program Is Using This File in Windows

What Is Windows Powertoys?

Windows Powertoys is an open-source project by Microsoft which gives users additional functionality and customizability over the preexisting Windows components. The tool was recently rebooted and is inspired by an old Windows utility of the same name, which was available with Windows 95.

This tool can add many functions to your Windows PC components. New features like File Locksmith (a feature that allows you to view which program is using a file currently), Power Rename, Image Resizer, Text Extractor, and many more can be added to your Windows PC with the help of Windows Powertoys.

Find Which Program Is Using This File In Windows

Since Windows Powertoys is an open source, it is not pre-installed in Windows, and you need to download and install the application to use its features. Here’s how to find which program is using this file in Windows:

  • Firstly, download Windows Powertoys from the official GitHub Page.
  • Once downloaded, double-click the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
  • Once the Windows Powertoys are installed, the application will automatically open on your computer.
  • Now, open the File Locksmith section from the left pane in the application.
  • In the File Locksmith section, toggle the Enable File Locksmith option on. Enabling File Locksmith in Windows Powertoys
  • Since the option is enabled, it will automatically be added to the file context menu.
  • To view which program uses this particular file, right-click it and select What’s using this file option from the context menu.Find What's Using This File In Windows Using in Context Menu

When you click the what’s using this file option, you can view details like Process ID, User, and File location. You can also End the task directly from File Locksmith. It is almost like using Task Manager for a single process.

File Locksmit Process details of file usage


Windows is an operating system that puts users at the forefront and gives them greater control over their computers, components, and features. With Windows Powertoys, new possibilities and valuable features are being added to Windows, enhancing the experience even more. We hope you found the article to be insightful. Please make sure that you share it with everyone.

How Do You Stop the Program From Using Any File?

If another program locks a file, you need to terminate that program so the file lock is released. It may not be the same program with which the file is associated, but it can be any other program that can open and edit the file. That said, it’s best to use Windows PowerToys or any third-party app to help you find the program. Once you force quit the program, you can move, delete, or rename the file.


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