A Gavin Minute: Trying to Delete a Xamarin.Forms or Xamarin.Android Project to No Avail?

This was an annoyance myself and a colleague of mine had when trying to delete a recently used Xamarin project. Up until now, he’d been power cycling his machine in order to do it, which is obviously not ideal. This post is for all those that may have trouble deleting not just Xamarin projects, but getting rid of pesky folders and files held on to by other processes.

The Problem With Deleting Xamarin Projects

This is actually rooted in Android (go figure). While closing Visual Studio usually removes all its handles from respective projects, there’s one task to be wary of with Xamarin: adb.exe. 

For those that may not know, this process is the Android Debug Bridge, and it’s responsible for communicating from the computer to the android device, whether that be a physical one or a virtual device. This is kicked up whenever the user needs to run an emulator or deploy to a physical device, so needless to say, it’s kind of important.

Getting it to Stop!

This is pretty simple. Simply ctrl+alt+delete and look for the adb.exe process. End the task, and you’ll be able to delete that pesky useless project.

How to Figure Out These Issues in the Future

If you’re used to Windows, chances are that this has happened to you quite a bit. The best way to go about figuring out which process is holding on to what files/folders is by downloading Mark Russinovich’s handy dandy Process Explorer Tool Not only can you see all the processes in action like you could with Task Manager, but you can also view all the DLL’s and various tasks that are holding on to whatever files you need. Hope this helps!

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