7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2015 6:40 PM by gregh1957 RSS

    Cannot delete a pdf file


      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.

        • 1. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
          MichaelKazlow ACP/MVPs

          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.

          • 2. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
            pwillener ACP/MVPs

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

            • 3. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
              jadd66 Community Member

              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.

              • 4. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
                Confused of Eastbourne Community Member

                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.

                • 5. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
                  morapat Community Member

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file

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

                    • 7. Re: Cannot delete a pdf file
                      gregh1957 Community Member

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