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How to fix Android Studio 2.0 file permission issues

Error:Execution failed for task ':app:clean'.
Unable to delete file (or folder): [some file saved as magical admin]

You are probably here because you encountered the above-mentioned error in Android Studio, most likely on Windows and most likely with version 2.0+. A variant to this is a write error or an unzip error (Android Studio failing to extract some .aar archive because… it couldn’t clear the target folder first).
I tried several things:

  • FileASSASSIN, which tries different techniques to delete a file. It didn’t work but was able to tell me that the file was locked by an unknown program that wasn’t running anymore (at least that how I interpreted that “FileHandle”, if I recall correctly, was null)
  • LockHunter, which tries to unlock files (ditto, it failed to remove the file too)
  • and finally a working solution: disable Android Studio’s new feature “Instant Run” (search for “Instant Run” in settings and uncheck the box). And then restart (the computer, not just the Studio). The “funny” thing is that bug has been reported… for Linux on an NTFS partition

Another option, which I’ve used in the past on similar cases as a last resort, is to reboot into Linux and deletes the files from there. That’s actually my primary reason for still having a dual boot at the moment…

Posted in Android.

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