5 Fixes for 'The Requested Resource Is In Use' Without Losing Data

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Tracy King updated on Feb 19, 2021 to Computer Instruction | How-to Articles

About "The requested resource is in use" in Windows

Error : the requested resource is in use

There are three kinds of error prompts that contains the error message "The requested resource is in use", including:

This error always occurs when you are trying to copy/move files or opening a program installed on your computer. Why do you encounter this issue? Generally, this error happens due to two main reasons:

  • As the message indicates, the file or folder you are attempting to move is occupied by another program
  • Your computer is infected by a Trojan horse named SmartService

Now start quickly to learn all the five effective ways to fix "The requested resource is in use" and other additional solutions for data recovery and protection:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Part 1. All five troubleshooting

Method 1. Disable Preview Pane...Full steps
Method 2. Check the File/Folder...Full steps
Method 3. Restart PC in Safe Mode...Full steps
Method 4. Remove Malware or Trojan...Full steps
Method 5. Remove Malicious Software/Program...Full steps

Part 2. How to restore data Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and perform the 3-step data recovery...Full steps
Part 3. Prevent Virus Infection Install professional antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated...Full steps

Part 1. 5 Fixes for "The requested resource is in use"

Based on the underlying causes, the possible fixes for the error "the requested resource is in use" are:

Method 1. Disable Preview Pane

If you get the prompt saying "Error Copying File or Folder: The requested resource is in use", it's highly likely you have enabled "Preview pane" in File Explorer (Windows 10). If this option is turned on, you may get the error when you are trying to copying a file or folder because the preview pane is using the file. Thus, check whether you have enabled "Preview pane". If you do, uncheck the option.

Step 1. Go to "File Explorer".

Step 2. From the menu, switch to the "View" tab.

Step 3. In the "Panes" section, uncheck "Preview pane".

Fix the requested resource is in use - disable preview pane

Method 2. Check the File/Folder

Besides, check whether you are opening the current file/folder with another program on your computer. As you know, you will fail to copy a file or folder if it is used by another application. Therefore, if the file/folder is occupied by a program, close it immediately. Afterward, you can copy or move it successfully.

If the error "the requested resource is in use" persists, or you constantly receive the error message when you try to open a program, your computer may have been infected by the Trojan horse malware - SmartService. In such a case, try the more advanced solutions below.

Method 3. Restart PC in Safe Mode

One of the features of the malware SmartService is that it blocks the antivirus software, thus makes your computer vulnerable to other viruses and malware infections. Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode and it only starts your computer with essential system programs and services. Thus, booting your computer into Safe Mode enables you to run your virus removal software without being interfered by SmartService.

To boot your computer into Safe Mode in Windows 10 from Settings:

Step 1. Click "Start" and choose "Settings" (the gear icon). 

Step 2. Go to "Update & Security" > "Recovery".

Step 3. Under "Advanced startup", click "Restart now".

Step 4. Then your PC will restart to the "Choose an option" screen. Select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options" > "Startup Settings" > "Restart".

Step 5. Then your PC will start with a list of options for you. Choose "Enable Safe Mode" to boot your computer into Safe Mode.

Step 6. Remove the malware using the antivirus software available on your computer.

Fix the requested resource is in use - boot into Safe Mode

Method 4. Run Windows Defender to Remove Malware or Trojan

If you think booting into Safe Mode is a little bit complex, you can try the built-in Windows defender to fully remove the virus or malware that cause "the requested resource is in use" issue on your PC.

Step 1. Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Windows Security".

Step 2. Click "Virus & threat protection".

Step 3. In the "Threat history" section, click "Scan now" to scan for virus on your computer.

Fix the requested resource is in use - Run Windows Defender

Method 5. Remove Malicious Software/Program

In addition to the two ways above, there are other ways available to remove the malware on your computer that cause you to receive the error message "the requested resource is in use".

Disable Malicious software/program from startup:

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and type system.

Step 2. In the result, click "System Configuration".

Step 3. Switch to the "Startup" tab and click "Open Task Manager".

Step 4. Select the option whose publisher is "Unknown" and click "Disable". (It's highly likely these options are malware.)

Fix the requested resource is in use - disable malware from startup

Remove Registry Entries of malicious software/program:

Modifying the registry may remove some of your saved files or programs with improper operation, thus, be careful when you make these operations.

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" to bring up the "Run" box.

Step 2. Enter "regedit" and click "Yes" in the prompt.

Step 3. Go to "Edit" > "Find" and type smartservice.

Step 4. Locate and remove the Trojan.

Step 5. Repeat the process to remove all malware or program that cause "the requested resource is in use" error.

Fix the requested resource is in use - remove malware in registry - method 1

If you don't know that malware or Trojan name, try the tips below: 

Step 1. Press Windows + R, and type: Regedit and hit Enter.

Step 2. Navigate to: HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.

Step 3. Under the CurrentVersion folder, find any folder that has "Run" in the title.

Step 4. Open the folder to check what it is. If you find any malware, delete it directly. If you are not sure about it, back it up before the deletion.

Fix the requested resource is in use - remove malware in registry - method 2

Part 2. Restore Data After Fixing the Error "The requested resource is in use"

According to the explanation, it seems that "the requested resource is in use" error is mainly caused by an occupied program or a Trajan or unknown virus.

For the first situation, you can just close the running program and get the problem resolved. However, if it's the second cause, clean up the virus first. Then. turn to reliable hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to retrieve your data immediately.

EaseUS data recovery software is able to perform deleted data recovery, formatted data recovery, lost file recovery, and more on computer or external storage devices. Follow to recover your lost data:

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the location(hard drive partition, external HDD, Card devices) where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files.

Wait until the scanning completes. If you need to double-click the item to preview the file, then select the data you attempt to recover.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover", choose a location to save the recovered data, then click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost data

How to Prevent Virus Infection on Your Computer

Virus attacks put a threat on your precious files and the stability of your computer. It's needless to repeat the effects of viruses. But it's worth stressing the importance of preventing virus infection on your computer or mobile devices. Generally, you can minimize the chance of virus attacks by doing the things below:

  • Install professional antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated
  • Be cautious with the origins of the programs you want to install
  • Avoid suspicious websites and think before you make a click
  • Make sure the network connection is safe

The Bottom Line

If the error "the requested resource is in use" on your computer is caused by the preview pane, you are the lucky one who can fix the issue easily via File Explorer. However, if the error results from a virus infection, it will take you more time to cope with it. Hope one of the solutions provided can help you remove "the requested resource is in use" successfully on your computer.

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