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Could not find this item while deleting file or folder in Windows

How to Delete a File or a Folder if the Item Not Found in Windows

Dmitry Bashlak Windows

When you try to delete a file or a folder, you may encounter the “Item Not Found” error, which reads: “Could not find this item. This is no longer located in FOLDER. Verify the item’s location and try again”. This error message is frustrating to many users because they can see the item they want to delete right there in Explorer or on their desktop.

If while deleting a file or a folder Windows shows the “Item Not Found” message it means that from the system’s “point of view” you are trying to delete something that isn’t there. It may be the case, or it may not. Below you can find simple methods to delete or get rid of such item in Windows 11/10 and Windows 7.

How to Fix the “Item Not Found” issue

Item Not Found Could not find this item, This is no longer located in message

To fix the “Item Not Found. Could not find this item. This is no longer located in…” message, try each of these steps until the file or folder disappears:

  1. Hit F5 key, or right-click and select “Refresh” from context menu (in Windows 11 you should first navigate to “Show more options”) while the folder with the item in question is active. Sometimes it is just a system glitch and after refreshing the Explorer or desktop the item is gone.
    Refresh Explorer Window
  2. Restart your PC. Make sure you use “Restart” option not “Shut down” and turning the PC on after. In latest Windows versions there’s a difference.
  3. If you have a spare USB drive or SD card, try moving the file or folder to that drive: drag it with the mouse while holding Shift key. Sometimes it works and you can delete the item from external drive or format it.
  4. Open Command Prompt as administrator and use chkdsk C: /f command to scan HDD or SSD for filesystem errors. Change the drive letter from C: to the actual drive letter with the “missing item” if necessary.
  5. There’s an “Archiver Trick” to deal with the files that could not be found while deleting. 7-Zip, available for free on https://7-zip.org/ is the best choice for this specific issue. Two options are available. First, you may right-click the folder or file, select “Add to archive” (not Compress to ZIP-file using the Windows built-in archiver capabilities) and check “Delete files after compression”.
    Delete file after compression in 7-Zip
  6. Second option is to open “7-Zip File Manager” installed when you install the archiver, navigate to the item, and delete it within the 7-Zip window.
    Delete item using 7-Zip file manager

One of the described techniques usually allows you to solve the problem and delete a file or folder that will not delete using Windows tools in the “Item Not Found” situation.

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