- File Locksmith is a Windows shell extension that enables users to check which files are in use and by which processes.
- File Locksmith can scan all running processes which it can access and check which files they are using and terminate them with a click.
- The Hosts File Editor provides a convenient way for users to edit the hosts file configuration with backup capabilities.
Microsoft announced a new addition to PowerToys. File Locksmith allows users to find the processes that are using the selected files and unlock them. PowerToys 0.64.0 also comes with a Windows Hosts File Editor, various bug fixes, and stability improvements.
File Locksmith eliminates the need for a third-party application that is required to deal with locked files. Locked files, that are being used by another process, can’t be opened or deleted because Windows prevents that action by default. File Locksmith can list the processes that are using the selected files or directories and allows users to close those processes.
Users can simply right-click a file in File Explorer and select the “What’s using this file?” option in the menu to see which processes are using the files and preventing them to be opened or deleted. If a directory is selected, Lock Smith can scan all of its subfiles and subdirectories.
If a process is being run by a different user, it may not be accessed and that process will be missing from the list. By restarting PowerToys as administrator, File Locksmith can scan all processes. Once the processes are listed, users can simply select the End Task to terminate the process or get more information about it. Terminated processes are automatically removed from the list. The list can be refreshed with the Reload button to see any changes.
Hosts File Editor
The latest version of PowerToys also comes with Hosts File Editor. It simplifies editing the hosts file configuration, which includes domain names and matching IP addresses, acting as a map to identify and locate hosts on IP networks. It can be beneficial especially if you are migrating a website to a new hosting provider or domain name. By creating a custom IP address to associate with the domain that is using the hosts file, users can see how it will look on the new server. To add a new entry using the Hosts File Editor:
- Enter the IP address
- Enter the hostname
- Enter any comments that may be helpful in identifying the purpose of the entry
- Ensure the Active toggle is enabled and select Add
To narrow the scope of results, users can filter host file entries by selecting the filter icon and entering characters in the Address, Hosts, or Comment fields. Hosts File Editor can also create backups of the hosts file before editing.