file or folder open or in use by another program, please close the program and try again error when attempting to move a folder.

I am using windows 7 64bit on an ASUS laptop, and recently ran into a strange problem.  I have a shared hard drive on a desktop PC that stores all of my working files.  I often work from the laptop across my wireless network, working on files stored on my desktop hard drive.  The desktop is running Win XP preofessional.

When I try and move a folder on the desktop hard drive using the laptop running win 7 I am getting the error"file or folder open or in use by another program, please close the program and try again"   The files are not open on the desktop or elsewhere on the laptop either, but nothing I do seems to unlock these files so they can be managed remotely from the laptop across the wireless network.

I found one forum post that said something about having to unlock the permissions for the file in windows 7?  Is this the problem?  and if so, how would one go about doing that? 

I have checked the permissions of the folders themselves, and they are set to full read write access for everyone, so I don't know what I could possibly change.  This is a Very Annoying glitch, having to go to my desktop every time I need to move or delete a file from my shared hard drive!

Also I have had no problems in the past w/ my previous two laptops managing files across my network on this particular desktop drive.  Those were running Win XP Home and Media Center Edition.


Please Help!


Question Info

Last updated September 23, 2018 Views 16,490 Applies to:

may take the ownership of the hard drive and then use the steps to grant permission to everyone

  1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer
  2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Click on “Advance”
  5. Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User windows
  6. Click on Edit Button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then, click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.
  7. Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” if you have files and folder within selected folder)
  8. Click ok when Windows Security Prompt is displayed
  9. Now Owner name must have changed.
  10. Now click Ok to exist from Properties windows
  11. Once you have taken the ownership of file or folder

Grant Permissions to everyone-

  1. Go to C:\Users\ and then click right click on folder "Your user name" and choose properties.
  2. Then go to security tab and click Edit then click Add => Advanced.
  3. If you click on advanced now click on Find Now and choose everyone and click Ok.
  4. Then again click Ok and now click on Allow => Full control => Ok.

[DISCLAIMER: Affecting system settings incorrectly can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly or may result in loss of data. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the configuration of ownership settings can be solved. Modifications of the settings are at your own risk.]

Method 2:
If the issue persists you may also use the Shared Folders troubleshooter to automatically find and fix some common problems and check if this helps-

1. Open the Shared Folders troubleshooter by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel.
2. In the search box, type
troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under Network and Internet, click Access shared files and folders on other computers.

Also refer to the below links and use the steps provided to assist you resolve the issue -

Share files with someone-
Share files using the Public folders -

File sharing essentials-

Networking home computers running different versions of Windows -


Hope this helps. Let us know the results.
Meghmala – Microsoft Support

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