Cannot delete a pdf file

New Here ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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After opening and closing a pdf file in the latest version of Adobe Reader, I've noticed a bug. When I try to delete the recently viewed pdf file, I can't because Windows says that the program is open in another program. However, when I click details, there are no details. This is exasperating. I have never had this problem before when I've worked with pdf files. Please help.

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Community Beginner , May 05, 2015 May 05, 2015

I was having the same problem today. Was trying to delete a load of unwanted pdf files out of my downloads folder using Windows Explorer. I am using Windows 8.1.

I discovered that if I turned off the preview pane in Windows Explorer that the files would delete simply by right click and "Delete". It seems that the preview pane was holding the file and therefore preventing its deletion.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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I have had this happen with many different programs including Word and Excel. Some programs do not release their hold on files, until they quit, others until they have finished writting to disk. You might think when you close a file, the program and OS should commit the changes and let the file go. Alas, sometimes the program and/or OS says I'll do it, just wait until I get around to it.

Quitting the program is sometimes the only way to get the program and/or OS to let go of the file.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 20, 2013 Feb 20, 2013

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Check with the Task Manager's Processes tab if AcroRd32.exe is still running in the background.  If so, end the process.

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2013 Feb 27, 2013

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When this bug occurred again, I did open task manager, but AcroRd.exe wasn't running. I did close adobe update that was running, but that didn't help. However, I am given an option in my windows folder to permanently delete the file in question (as opposed to just moving the file to the recycle bin) and that worked. Thank you for your suggestions.

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New Here ,
Jul 18, 2014 Jul 18, 2014

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Thank you for the info re making the delete permanent rather than sending to the recycle bin.  seems to be a bug in the interface twixt Reader XI and Win 8.1 that stops a simple "send to recycle" working.

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Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2015 May 05, 2015

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I was having the same problem today. Was trying to delete a load of unwanted pdf files out of my downloads folder using Windows Explorer. I am using Windows 8.1.

I discovered that if I turned off the preview pane in Windows Explorer that the files would delete simply by right click and "Delete". It seems that the preview pane was holding the file and therefore preventing its deletion.

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Guest
Oct 10, 2015 Oct 10, 2015

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turning off the preview pane does not work for me using win10 - this is an incredibly annoying bug, to the point of uninstalling Acrobat

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New Here ,
May 17, 2015 May 17, 2015

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THANK YOU! This has been driving me crazy! Your preview pane, did the trick!!!

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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On the topic on the preview pane itself, does anyone know why this preview pane seems to have a mind of its own in that without making any changes to settings it will sometimes not show the preview of the file in the pane?

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2016 Feb 20, 2016

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Awesome.  Thanks. 

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New Here ,
May 03, 2016 May 03, 2016

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The easiest method is to left click the files(s) to select. Then depress and hold the SHIFT key, then depress the delete key. Problem solved. No need to toggle settings.

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New Here ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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That does not work.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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I'm running Windows 10 and none of the above solutions work for me.  Extremely frustrating.

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New Here ,
Mar 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017

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The only way I found in Windows 10 to delete these as they are showing open in another application, is to highlight the pdf and "rename" the file.  I used delete this file for a filename.  After this I just right clicked and selected delete and sent it to the recycle bin.  I did clear the preview screen as well and have tried this with it showing.  Hope this helps.@

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