When you try to delete a file or folder on your system, you may receive an error message “Invalid File Handle”. This error message appears when the folder or file name you are trying to delete is reserved. Windows operating system does not support certain names / labels, because of which explorer can not assign your folder or file a reserved name. However, if you get a file from your smartphone or another operating system like Linux you will see an error message when you try to delete it.
What causes the error message “Invalid File Handle” in Windows 10?
Well, it is quite clear why this error appears after reading the name conventions provided by Microsoft.
One of the reasons Windows generates an invalid file manager error when deleting a file is because a reserved name is used for the file name.
As discussed in this Microsoft article http://windowsbulletin.com/how-to-fix-invalid-file-handle-error-solved/, avoid using the following reserved names when creating files / folders on your Windows file system:
CON, PRN, AUX, NUL
COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9
LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, LPT9
Also avoid these names, followed by the extension. For example, it is not recommended to use NUL.txt.
If for some reason you need to manage a file of this type which could have been copied from other file systems (e.g. from a Linux PC with an ext3 / 4 partition or from the internal memory of your smartphone) then you know that there are several ways to remove these elements.
The file / folder name is a reserved name: an error message will appear if the file you are trying to remove has been given a reserved name. The use of reserved names is prohibited by Microsoft and should not be ignored.
Now that you know Microsoft’s naming conventions and the reason for the bug report, you can fix it by following the solution below.
Create a delete.bat file
1 Open your favorite text editor
2 Copy and paste content
DEL / F / A / Q \? \% 1
RD / S / Q \? \% 1
3 Save the file as delete.bat or delete.cmd and keep it in a safe place.
4 Drag and drop any files or folders that we cannot delete. The folder / file will be deleted
Use the command line to delete a file
Locate a File using CMD
- To remove a file or folder from the command line, we first need to go to the location of our file. By default, the command line is in a folder named after the username of your computer (C: \ Users \ MyPC). This folder contains your documents, downloads and office directories, among others.
- To display all files in this directory, use the Dir command, which means a directory.
- Each file in this directory is displayed immediately.
- For example, if the file or directory you want to delete is on your desktop, use the cd command to change the directory using the prompts.
- Just type in “cd” and then quote the folder you want to go to.
- “Desktop” CD
- You immediately go to the desktop directory and from there you can again use the “Dir” command to find the file or folder you want to delete.
- If you accidentally navigate to the wrong directory, type it in:
- You will immediately get to the previous directory.
- In the same way you can use the combination of the Dir and Cd commands to go to any directory and find any file or folder.
Delete files with CMD
- The command to delete files using cmd – “Del”.
- Unlike “Rmdir”, “Del” can only delete files. Using Del to delete a folder is wrong.
- To delete a file, just type “Delete”, then type the file name and its extension in quotes.
- Delete “My file.txt”.
- Your file should be deleted immediately.
- If your file is not in the user folder or in one of its subdirectories, you need to restart the command line as administrator.
- However, be very careful. An incorrect command at the administrator command line can very easily damage your computer.
- To delete more than one file at a time, just enter all the file names one by one.
- Delete “File1.txt” “File2.txt” “File3.txt”.