How to copy locked files in Windows 7

The problem

Are you familiar with this message from Windows?

File in use - Windows 7
File in use – Windows 7

We all are. Sometimes we try to copy a file which is locked by Windows (system file), a dump file or by a piece of software.

No matter what you try, you’re unable to delete or copy the file because it is locked, and Windows displays the above message. Pretty annoying, isn’t it?

Well – there’s a simple way to copy the file – kill the process that locked the file. But what if you don’t know which process / software locked the file, or you don’t really want to kill the entire process / close the program?

The solution – ShadowCopy

Well, I just came across a better (but still simple) solution using a 3rd party software called “ShadowCopy“ to copy locked files in Windows 7.

As the good developers say:

“Copy all your files – even if they are locked by Windows: ShadowCopy is a simple program that copies all files from one place to another. Other than usual file managers, such as Windows Explorer, it copies all files including locked and open files. This is made possible by using Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services (VSS).”

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