File Locksmith utility

File Locksmith is a Windows shell extension for checking which files are in use and by which processes.

File Locksmith Demo

How to activate and use File Locksmith

To activate File Locksmith, open PowerToys and turn on the Enable File Locksmith toggle. Select one or more files or directories in Windows File Explorer. If a directory is selected, all of its files and subdirectories will be scanned as well. Right-click on the selected file(s), select Show more options to expand the list of menu options, then select Unlock with File Locksmith to open File Locksmith and see which processes are using the file(s).

When File Locksmith is opened, it will scan all of the running processes that it can access, checking which files the processes are using. Processes that are being run by a different user cannot be accessed and may be missing from the list of results. To scan all processes, select Restart as administrator.

Restart File Locksmith as administrator

After scanning, a list of processes will be displayed. Select End task to terminate the process, or select the expander to show more information. File Locksmith will automatically remove terminated processes from the list, whether or not this action was done via File Locksmith. To manually refresh the list of processes, select Reload.

See also