Microsoft Is Developing a New PowerToys Utility Called ‘File Locksmith’

Microsoft is working on a new and very useful PowerToys utility called File Locksmith.

PowerToys is a freeware collection of system utilities designed for power users of Windows. The collection has been around since the days of Windows 95, but in 2019 it was updated for Windows 10 and has been expanding its range of tools ever since as well as embracing Windows 11.

As Neowin reports(Opens in a new window), File Locksmith is still a work in progress, but Clint Rutkas, Lead for developer experiences on Windows and Microsoft PowerToys, teased its functionality in a tweet.

If you’ve ever tried to delete a file only to be told by Windows it’s in use and therefore can’t be sent to the Recycle Bin, you’ll understand why File Locksmith could prove so useful. It adds a new context menu item(Opens in a new window) to Windows called “What’s using this file?” which pops up a list of the processes currently using a specific file.

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As the tweet preview above shows, it’s possible to “End Task,” which hopefully means killing the process link and allowing a file to be deleted immediately (but could also have consequences for the stability of your Windows session depending on how important the file is). The functionality may of course change before Microsoft is ready to add it to the PowerToys collection, but it’s already looking like an essential utility that’s going to become very popular with Windows power users.

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