Windows – Cannot delete folder – Content seems to be nested recursively


I cannot delete a folder located on my hard disk by any means.

I don't quite know how it was created, all I know is, that it is a pretty deep structure of folders (too deep to delete it at once, since Windows restriction path name too long), but the problem in the end is, that I can't "pull out" the inner folders, because they don't seem to be folders anymore (Context menu lacks things like "Properties", "Cut", "Copy", "Delete" etc.)

Here a picture of how a right click looks like on one of these "folders":


As you can see, the current folder is in very deep, but that is not the problem, rather the one I left-clicked on.

Has anyone any advice on how to get rid of these?

I tried a chkdsk, said no errors. I also tried deleting those folder via a VMWare Ubuntu, to no success. I also tried a batch file from a volunteer at MS boards, that should automatically de-nest such folders, but I guess mine is a special case, since the tool only created more such folders.

Best Answer

  • Maybe some files inside the folder (or deep inside the subfolders in it) are locked by Windows because they may be in use by other programs / processes.

    When that happened to me, I used a program named "Unlocker" that, as its name implies, unlocks files in use and lets you delete them (and thus, delete the entire folder structure).

    Note that Windows or your AV program may detect it as a virus, so use it at your own risk. Though, I've used it several times (at least back in the Windows XP days) and never had a problem.

    Another option is trying to delete the files/folders in Windows "safe mode" (hit F8 when rebooting your computer to enter that mode). You can even try "Unlocker" within safe mode and see what happens (I'm not sure).

    And if those two options fail, then you may simply have a virus.

    BTW, I doubt the folder "depth" itself is the cause of the problem, but more likely, the "effect" of having a virus.

    Still, could you give us the full path here? It is suspicious that you have so many "Application Data" nested folders.