Unable to delete file: System cannot find the file specified

Running hybrid systems spanning from windows to different flavors of Linux sometimes present you with interesting behavior. One that I have faced every now and then is files that you can’t delete due to special characters in the filename. They do show up in the file explorer but when you try to delete them you get “Item not find” or similar error. Seen a lot of different solutions online with third party software and other complex solutions but there is two simple “built-in” ways to deal with this in windows.

dir /x method

Open up a cmd window and navigate to the folder in question. Run a simple dir /x command and it will list the files with the non-8dot3 short names. Then you can just go del {non-8.3-filename} and you will get rid of the file.

rd /s “\?c:temp” method

Not all files generate the non-8dot3 name for some reason, don’t ask me why – didn’t dig that deep. For this there is a solution as well. In this scenario make sure that the files you want to get rid of are the only one/ones in the directory and run rd /s “\?C:foldercontainingproblemfile”. This command will remove all the files and the directory as well.

11 Comments on “Unable to delete file: System cannot find the file specified”

  1. Long path error is a very common problem in Windows users face. Try using Long Path Tool if your computer is giving errors like, “Path too long”, “Path too long – aborting (error code 80/1)”, 0x80010135 Path too long”, “Error cannot delete file: cannot read from source file or disk” or “File cannot be copied”. You can use Long Path Tool to resolve these problems. Get support of this product by subscribing it online.

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  2. You can fix this by using Long Path Tool. The software that will let you easily delete, copy or rename long path files.

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  3. I suggest you try Long path tool is the very good program for easily delete, copy & rename long path files, error, unlock solution.
    Try it and solve your problem.
    I used long path tool and I solve my error, unlock problem solution.

    Like

  4. I suggest you try Long path tool is the very good program for easily delete, copy & rename long path files, error, unlock solution.
    Try it and solve your problem.
    I used long path tool and I solve my error, unlock problem solution.

    Like

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