I’ve written about many strange errors in Windows before and I recently ran across a new one. When trying to shutdown or restart, I would get the following error message:
Windows is currently working with a file. Either wait for Windows to finish, or close it before you quit Windows
The heading for the dialog box would be “Copying” or “Moving”. The strange part is that I was not copying or moving any files! Not only that, but I had no programs open on the desktop, so I was a little confused as to what the problem was.
Unfortunately, this error can be caused by all kinds of issues, so it’s not really easy to fix. There are a few things you can try that have worked for me and other who have had this issue.
Method 1 – Uninstall Zone Alarm
It seems like users of Zone Alarm could be victims of this error quite often. Whatever the reason may be, it can sometimes go away once you uninstall the software.
The software has a feature called OnAcess scan, which will sometimes interfere with a file copy or file move, this causing the error. You can go into Task Manager and kill Zone Alarm first and then try to restart and see if you are able to do so without the error message popping up.
Method 2 – Defrag Hard Drive
If you’ve installed a new hard drive or have multiple hard drives installed on your computer, try defragmenting all of your drives.
Sometimes this will unlock whatever file is being locked by Windows and allow you to restart or shutdown without the error mesage.
Method 3 – User Profile Hive Cleanup Service
Sometimes in a domain environment, the user profile can become corrupted and therefore won’t unload properly. You can install the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service, which helps ensure that a user’s sessions is completely terminated when they log off.
You can download the Cleanup Service from Microsoft:
Method 4 – Virus or Malware
Lastly, you might have a virus or malware installed that is doing something malicious in the background with your data and files.
If you feel you have some sort of virus, it’s best to turn off your computer and boot to a CD that has anti-virus software you can run during boot up. Kaspersky and Norton are good choices.
If you’re still getting the “Windows is currently working with a file” message during shutdown, post a comment here and I’ll try to help!