Can't Delete Web Page Created by Excel

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 5, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2003


Loretta uses Excel 2003 to create a series of worksheets each week. She saves a selected area of the worksheets as Web pages, and then e-mails them as attachments to employees. A few months ago she saved an entire worksheet as a Web page, instead of just a selected area. Now she can't delete or rename the Web page file; when she tries, she gets an error messages from Windows saying that the file is in use by another person or program.

It is difficult to nail down exactly what the problem may be, but it sounds like more of a Windows problem than an Excel problem. There are a few things you can try.

First, make sure that Excel is shut down. (It could be Excel itself that is preventing Windows from deleting the file.) Try to do the deletion again, and if it doesn't work then try to do it in a command prompt window. (Open one using Start | All Programs | Accessories | Command Prompt.) You will have to navigate using DOS commands to locate the file, but you can then try to delete it in the window.

You should also try deleting the file immediately after rebooting your computer. This should clear any other programs from memory, allowing you to make the deletion. (Although, I suspect that since you first ran into this problem a couple of months ago, there have been multiple times you have restarted your computer since then.)

It is also possible that the problem could be related to the file being accessed by someone over your network. To find out, shut down your system, unplug your network/Internet cable, and restart the system. Then try to delete the file.

Finally, you can choose to boot your computer into Safe Mode and then delete the file. You get into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when your computer is first booting, and then choosing Safe Mode from the boot menu that is displayed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3129) applies to Microsoft Excel 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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