Diagnose What Software Is Causing a File to Claim It Is In Use

December 9, 2014

I recently got a call from a loyal reader who was having trouble saving a CorelDRAW file. Often a message would pop-up saying the file was in use and the only way to save it was to give the file another name. When problems like this occur, fingers are typically pointed at CorelDRAW. While that could be the case, it isn’t a problem I’ve faced which makes me think there is something else on that particular user’s system causing an issue.

What we do know is that something is claiming to be using the file in Windows. The key is figuring out what is truly using it. Could there be some other software on your system interfering? That’s my likely guess.

The good news is there are utilities that can tell you exactly what is using any specific file. Even better, it is free and comes from Microsoft. Process Explorer is designed to help you diagnose these issues and you can download it free.

Sysinternals Process Explorer

It isn’t the most user friendly tool in the world. But if you’re pulling out your hair trying to figure out what software is using files, it might be the best tool for finding the culprit. Once you find the culprit, then you can try and figure out how to get that software to quit interfering.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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