Error 0x80070091: The directory is not empty

There are times when you may encounter an unexpected error while using any of the Windows computer operating systems. Such error can be unexpected because you will most likely not to be in a position to tell why the error occurs.

This article will show you how to fix error 0X80070091: The directory is not empty while you trying to delete a file or folder from any section of your computer. This error can occur in Windows 7,8 and Windows 10.

An unexpected error is keeping you from deleting the folder. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help withthis problem.
Error 0x80070091: The directory is not empty.

As we saw, the message above clearly shows that you cant delete folders you tried to delete, the part warning that “the directory is not empty” may make you disturbed about what the message actually means. Here are some basic reasons that can appear.

  • Your computer’s hard drive has bad sectors.
  • You have too much junk files in the temporary locations folder.
  • If you do not have full administrator rights, you cannot delete any files or folder on that computer.
  • Damaged or corrupted PC drivers.

Fix error 0X80070091: The directory is not empty


One of the quickest solutions to solve this error is to clean out junk files on your computer.

  1. First, you start Disk Cleanup. Press Windows Key + R then type C:\windows\SYSTEM32\cleanmgr.exe and press Enter.
  2. Now you choose the drive you want to clean up, and click OK. Disk Cleanup will start to run automatically and will calculate how much used space you can claim on the hard disk. This may take a few minutes to complete.
  3. Then you click the Clean up system files button.
  4. Repeat step 3 above.
  5. Next, you select the Previous Windows installation(s) box to check it, and click OK.
  6. Click on Delete Files. Wait to Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder will be deleted.

Try again to delete a file or folder you wanted to remove to check if the 0x80070091 error has resolved.

Fix Error Solution #2: RUN DISK CHECK TOOL

The built-in disk check (chkdsk) utility is similar to file checker except that it focuses more on repairing bad sectors on the hard disk. Running it can be very helpful in resolving many errors including error 0x80070091.

  1. Press Win + X key to open up menu.
  2. Select “Command Prompt (Admin)” option.
  3. Click “Yes” to run command prompt as an administrator.
  4. Type chkdsk C/f/r/x.
  5. Press “Enter” to run the scan and let it complete before restarting your computer and deleting the file or folder you intend to delete to see whether or not the error 0x80070091 is resolved.


Updating Windows drivers will only be effective in case the issue appears because of outdated drivers or damaged, which is generally a cause of many other Windows errors.

  1. Go to Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and click Device Manager from the list.
  2. Once Device Manager pops up, find the driver that you want to update. Then right-click it and choose Update Driver Software.
  3. Next, you choose Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will now download and update the best driver for your device.
  4. Repeat these step for all drivers that you wish to update.

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