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Published: September 19, 2016 | Applies to:

While modifying files in Windows 10, if you receive "The action can't be completed because the file is open in COM Surrogate" error, this fix may help you.

We all know that we can’t move/rename/delete files in Windows while they are being utilized in a program. If either of these operations are of paramount importance for us, we need to first shut down the program in which file is open. But sometimes, instead of program, the file may be locked up by a process.

Recently, we came around this kind of situation on a Windows 10 Pro system. While playing some files, we tried to rename one of them and we got this message:

The action can’t be completed because the file is open in COM Surrogate

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

If you’re new to Windows, first of all you need to know that COM Surrogate is not a program but is a background process. It is a sacrificial process which acts on behalf for some another process which requested it. COM Surrogate is also known by dllhost.exe name. The main purpose of this process is to save Windows/File Explorer from crash by sacrificing itself. You can visit this article, if you receive COM Surrogate has stopped working message.

To solve this issue, you can either provide Full control to COM Surrogate or the file/folder under the effect of this issue.

FIX : The Action Can’t Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

FIX 1 – Give Full Control To COM Surrogate/dllhost.exe Process

1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys simultaneously to open Task Manager. On the Processes tab, scroll down and locate COM Surrogate process and right click on it, select Properties.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

If you can’t locate COM Surrogate process, switch to Details tab and look for dllhost.exe process. Right click on it, select Properties.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

2. In the process property sheet, switch to Security tab. Under Group or user names, select your account. Check whether you’ve Full control or not, since you’re facing this issue, you won’t have it. So click Edit.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

3. In the next window, again highlight your account and check Allow against Full control. Click Apply followed by OK.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

Close Task Manager and you’ll find that the issue is resolved.

FIX 2 – Give Full Control To Affected File

1. Right click on the folder under which affected file is located. Select Properties.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

2. On the property sheet, select your account under Group or user names. Generally, you will find that you don’t have Full control for the folder, which might be the cause of this issue. Click Edit.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

3. In the Permissions window, select your account and check Allow against Full control. Click Apply, OK.

[FIX] The Action Can't Be Completed Because The File Is Open In COM Surrogate In Windows 10

The issue should no longer persist now.

Hope this helps!

Also read: How to fix ‘The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program’.


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