How to Delete a Corrupted or Unreadable File

By Tammy Clevenger

Delete a Corrupted File
i notebook image by Alexander Zhiltsov from

Due to viruses and malware, or possibly because the computer was improperly shut down, files may become corrupted and unusable over time. If the file properties of the corrupted file show that the "Read-only" attribute is set, deleting the file is not possible until this option is deselected. The "Properties" interface may be launched using Windows Explorer--the Windows file navigator and manager. From the "Properties" interface, the "Read-only" attribute may be unchecked and the corrupted file may be deleted.

Reboot the computer to ensure the corrupted file is not in use by a running application.

Right click on the Windows "Start" button and select the "Explore" option to launch the "Windows Explorer" interface.

Right click on the corrupted file and select the "Properties" option to launch the file's "Properties" interface.

Uncheck the option labeled "Read-only," if checked, and then click the "OK" button to save the settings.

Right click again on the corrupted file and select "Delete" from the menu.

Click the "OK" button on the deletion confirmation dialog box. The corrupted file will be sent to the "Recycle Bin" for deletion.