Could Not Find This Item – Windows

Are you getting a Could not find this item error when trying to delete a folder or file? 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.

This error will appear when you are trying to access a certain file either to delete, rename, or open it. Logically speaking, if you can locate and view a file on your computer, you should also have clear access to it. However, this strange error occurs and you are unable to do anything with that file.

Error Message:

Item Not Found: Could not find this item.This is no longer located in [path]. Verify the item’s location and try again.

Sometimes this occurs with files created by third-party services and it occurs because the file’s extension is not properly defined. There are other obscure causes as well. Follow the several methods in this article to either delete the file successfully since that is what users mostly want to do. 

Fix Could Not Find This Item Error

Fix Error #1: Delete the Problematic File wit Command Prompt

This is one of the commands which can be used to delete the problematic file or folder. Deleting it may be important if it is linked to software you uninstalled a while ago, especially if the file takes up a lot of space on the disk. Try this method but make sure you type in the correct path to the file instead of our placeholder.

  1. Search for “Command Prompt” either in the Start menu or by clicking the search button right next to it, right-click on it, and select the “Run as administrator” option. You can also use the Windows Key + R key combination and type in “cmd” in the Run dialog box.
  2. Copy and paste the command below and make sure you tap the Enter key on your keyboard afterwards. Also make sure to use the correct path to the file including its name. X is the placeholder letter as well, you should input the letter corresponding to the drive’s letter where the file is located.
rd /s \\?\X:\bad\folder\path
  1. You should see the Operation completed successfully message. If you don’t check to see if you have input the file’s location correctly. If you have, try checking out other solutions below.

Fix Error #2: Delete Using Short File Name format

Use the 8.3 (short file name) file/folder name to delete the item from Command Prompt. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Command Prompt window, change to the parent directory of the file or folder.
  2. Type DIR /X to find the short file/folder name (8.1 name). For example, the short file name for a file named togglethumbs.vbs may be something like toggle~1.vbs.
  3. Then delete the file or folder using its short file name from the Command Prompt.

Fix Error #3: Move the file or folder into a new directoy

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.

Fix Error #4: Rename the file or folder

Once you find the short file/folder name, you may try renaming it. To rename a file or folder, use this command-line syntax:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window.
  2. Then, use the following command-line syntax to rename the item:
  3. REN drive:\path\OldName Newname
  4. For example:
    REN drive:\path\toggle~1.vbs toggle.vbs
  5. Exit the Command Prompt.
  6. See if you can delete the file via File Explorer.

Fix Error #5: Workaround without Command Prompt

This solution is more of a workaround but it gets the job done as a side-effect of another action. That being said, it’s perfect for users who don’t like using Command Prompt and who want to do everything using their mouse in a graphical environment. It’s also easy to use so make you try this one out!

  1. Locate the problematic file or folder on your computer by navigating to it in the File Explorer. Right-click on it and choose the Add to archive option from the context menu.
  2. When the archiving options window opens, locate the Delete files after archiving option and make sure you select it. Click OK to start the archiving process and, after it finishes, you should notice that your problematic file is missing!
  3. Delete the archive you created as well by right-clicking on it and choosing the Delete option from the context menu.

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