Ubuntu: how to delete locked folders/files


How to delete locked folders/files? When I try to delete them an error occurs: "Error removing file: Permission denied" I am root. See the image below to know what kind of folders/files.

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Launch your file explorer as root using:

gksudo nautilus  

This will open your file explorer, and grant it root, so it should be able to view/delete the directory/file.

If you are like me, and don't care about the warnings in this question you can use this instead:

sudo nautilus  


Try the following: launch Terminal and enter sudo rm -rf '/path/to/locked/folder'

And be VERY careful with the path to folder!


The lock symbol means your user currently have no write permission on the file/folder. To change this:

  1. Check the current owner/group/permissions status by right clicking the file/folder, clicking Properties and then switching to the Permissions tab.
  2. Open a Terminal by hitting Ctrl+Alt+t.
    • If you are the Owner of the file (i.e. the Owner field shows your username): add write permission to the owner by running this command: chmod u+w <path_to_file_folder>
    • If you are not the Owner of the file, but you are in the Group group (i.e. the Group field shows your username or a name of a group to which you belong, e.g. sudo): add write permission to the group by running this command: sudo chmod g+w <path_to_file_folder>
    • If you are not the Owner of the file and you are not in the Group group: add write permission to the others by running this command: sudo chmod o+w <path_to_file_folder>
  3. Run exit

And then just delete the file/folder from Nautilus.


  1. Open a Terminal by hitting Ctrl+Alt+t.
    • Remove the file/folder as root by running this command: sudo rm -rf <path_to_file_folder>


Here is something , that I found was easier to do instead of opening terminal. Right-Click the file and open properties. Then switch to the permissions tab. Then wherever it says Access: change it from whatever it is to Create And Delete Files. This should remove the lock and then you can delete the file normally.


  Step 1: open terminal. ...    Step 2: Give command : sudo su.    Step 3: Above command would ask for your password. ...    Step 4: Once the correct password is given, you would give following command.    Step 5: chmod a+rwx folder/file      and go to home and Just delete the folder/file      Step 6: exit for root user type "exit".  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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