General Question

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

How come Windows says I still have files in a folder when it's empty?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1005 points ) February 24th, 2014

I’ve been organizing files in my documents and I notice that sometimes when I empty out a folder and double check if there’s anything I left out by clicking on properties, it says that I have like 2 or 3 files still in the folder. Yet, when I move into the folder, there’s nothing there. I have Windows set so that it reveals hidden folders, and even still the properties tab says there’s data in the folder despite nothing being there. What gives?

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9 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Reboot and you should be able to delete it, I often have similar issues, you can also start task manager, end explorer.exe and run it again though it can occasionally reset the positions of your icons.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Nope. I’ve been turning on and off my laptop since then and it still shows that there’s data. I tried ending explorer.exe and running it again but it still shows data. I double checked control panel to make sure hidden files and folders are visible, and they are. There’s an option to reset folder options, and I’m kind of hesitant to press it. I’m always paranoid that something is going to be deleted.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If you go into the folder options menu and uncheck “hide protected operating files” and check again. The files are probably caches windows uses to speed things up like thumbnails and what have you.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Nope. Still says it. Although something weird just happened. Now that I was fooling around with it, it says 4 files are in there now. Before it was 3. I was also playing around with unchecking “allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties”

I tried checking and unchecking again and it’s still at 4 files. This is weird.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Windows supports the concept of hidden files. You may have some.

XOIIO's avatar

@elbanditoroso he already checked that.

This is definitely interesting, you could maybe try a command in elevated command prompt to delete the folder, I’ll have to double check which would work best though.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The fact that checking the “allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties” box created an additional file suggests that they are created by the OS to manage the folder. Windows hides these (as well as load of other stuff that you really don’t want to delete) separately to standard hidden files.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

At the end of the day it’s not a huge deal, I was just worried about deleting something important. But I’m sure I transferred everything to the new folder. It was just full of Word documents, papers I wrote in school. I wanted to delete the old folder so it doesn’t take up space when I’m looking for something.

XOIIO's avatar

Try this in command prompt, replace New Folder with whatever the folder name is, make sure to keep the quotation marks where they are.

RMDIR “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Desktop\New Folder”

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