“Could not find this item” error in Windows [FIX]

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read
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Are you getting a “Could not find this item” error when trying to delete a folder or file? This Windows error has an Item Not Found window that states: “Could not find this item: This is no longer located in (path). Verify the item’s location and try again.” This can happen as a consequence of an invalid file , invalid folder title or high RAM usage. These are a few ways you can fix the error in Windows and delete the required folder or file.

Fix: “Could not find this item” error

Close Taskbar Programs to Free up RAM

First, you should free up RAM before deleting the folder or file. Close all software open on your taskbar. In addition, close background programs with the Task Manager by pressing the Win key + X hotkey and selecting Task Manager from the menu. Select software listed under Background processes and press their End task buttons. This Windows Report article includes more tips for how you can free up RAM.

Move the file or folder into a new, temporary directory

Moving the subfolder or file to a new directory might also do the trick. Set up a new folder outside the directory the subfolder or file is in by pressing the New folder button in File Explorer. Then, drag and drop the subfolder or file into the new, temporary folder and try deleting it again.

Edit the folder/file title

Long folder or file titles with spaces and symbols can cause this error. so try changing the title to something shorter with no spaces or symbols. You can rename folders and files with the Command Prompt as follows:L

  • Press the Win key + X hotkey and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
  • Open the folder you need to delete or one that contains the file to erase in Command Prompt. You can do that by entering ‘cd\’ followed by full folder path as shown in the snapshot below.

  • Next, type ‘dir /x’ in the Command Prompt and press Enter. That will show you all the directory content with the 8.3 format as below.

  • Rename the file or folder title by entering ‘ren <8.3 file or folder title> <new file or folder title>’ in the Command Prompt as below with no spaces. The 8.3 file or folder title would be something like WORLDC~1.BMP.

  • Close Command Prompt, open File Explorer and erase the folder or file from there.

Delete the folder or file with Command Prompt

  • If you still can’t delete the file or folder in File Explorer, erase it with the Command Prompt by pressing the Win key + X keyboard shortcut and selecting Command Prompt (Admin) to open the CP.
  • Open the directory path with cd\ as before.
  • Input ‘dir /x’ to open the directory with DOC 8.3 folder and file titles.
  • Now input ‘del’ and the 8.3 file title as shown in the shot below. Press the Enter key to delete the file or folder.

  • Alternatively, input ‘rmdir’ and the 8.3 directory title to delete a folder.

Delete the folder or file with DelinvFile

You could delete the file or folder with the DelinvFile utility software, as well. This is a program designed to vaporize invalid files and folders, so it would be ideal in this case. While it retails for $31.95, you can begin using a two-week trial version to Windows from this website page. DelinviFile will highlight the invalid file or directory in red, so select the red file or folder in the program and press the Delete File or Folders button to erase it.

That’s how you can fix the “Could not find this item” error and delete the blocked file or folder. Editing or deleting the folder or file with the Command Prompt will usually do the trick. Check out this article for further tips on how you can fix Windows file delete issues.


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