Files don’t disappear after deleted, Windows shows file as read only.

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Every now and then across one of these annoying issues that don’t seem to go away. I classify them as interesting because they are not system wide, they don’t really pose a security risk, nor they rely on major configuration settings. It’s one of those things that you simply want to put in the “X file” folder and move on unfortunately that not always can be case.

I came across an issue where a user could not modify some files, no real patterns of specific extension. What made it more mind boggling was the fact that when she deleted some files they didn’t “disappear” from the folder view and if they did as soon as she browsed out of the folder and came back to in the deleted files were there.

My first instinct was to check user permissions, group membership, advanced NTFS settings, I even deleted and recreated the user account and profile, I performed Operating System and applications updates but to no avail. Running out time and options with an inpatient user that required the system to work normally to perform her daily work related functions I spent some time with her as she showed me how she did her work and how the system failed. I saw firsthand she was accurate in the description of the issue and how it was affecting her work.

After all my troubleshooting techniques and not finding much valuable information on the Web noticed one of the simplest thing: she had the Preview pen active in Windows Explorer. That was the aha moment, it actually made perfect sense. Windows preview was locking the files for auto preview and then when deleting the file it while auto-previewed it was causing file access issues. I did not spend time at the processes and .dlls involved into it, I simply turned off the Preview pane and “magic” happened. I just hope that find this article useful if you dealing with this issue, I know that after some time you run out of technical explanations and start feeling a bit frustrated.


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