uTorrent and file indexing

I have a habit of making a post if I find a solution to a computer problem I am having, and this is no exception.

Recently I’ve found uTorrent downloads to stop downloading with the following error message: “Error: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process”.

The problem apparently occurs when uTorrent flushes its file handles. This causes uTorrent to release the files, and other processes can access them, and in some cases for so long that uTorrent is not able to further edit them. This causes uTorrent to stop downloading and display an error as mentioned above.

This problem could be caused by one or more of the following (as stated in the official uTorrent FAQ):

  • File indexing software, or software that includes such feature.
  • Anti-virus software doing real-time scans on the files you are downloading.
  • You are viewing the files and Explorer (explorer.exe) is creating thumbnails for certain media files (pictures, movies etc).
  • The file(s) you are downloading to are somehow set to Read-only.

Software that includes file indexing features are many. Some of the most popular ones are Google Desktop, MSN Desktop. Also mentioned in the FAQ are WinZip Quickfind, Nero Scout and Roxio Media Manager.

File indexing software also was the problem on my account, however, I have not installed any of the above mentioned programs. So I downloaded SysInternals Process Monitor and did an event search for the filename I was downloading to. I found that the process wmpnetwk.exe is the sinner. This process updates your Media Sharing library in Windows Media Player. In my case it is enabled to share media with Xbox 360. If you have the same problem as me, check out if this process is running, and try and disable it.

For more information, visit the official uTorrent FAQ.

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