OneDrive file is locked: The file is locked for editing by another user

Microsoft’s file hosting service, OneDrive is extensively used by Window users to access files, folders, photos from anywhere irrespective of the device you use. Additionally, it allows users to store files like BitLocker recovery keys, Windows Settings, and other documents. This is one of the most powerful cloud service that helps in saving that precious system storage by allowing users to store the data in online cloud storage and access them on Windows system. OneDrive offers a convenient way of sharing these files and offers ways for real -time collaboration.

The file is locked for editing by another user

The cloud storage service integrates with Microsoft Office and allows users to create office folders, edit Office documents online and share them. But at times you may find yourself facing problem opening the documents in a cloud platform. Opening a documents file in OneDrive could display a message like:

The file is locked for editing by another user

This error usually occurs if the Office document which you were using was not closed properly or if the document is already open and is running in the background. The error message also occurs if the file is collaborated and shared on a network and if its open and being used by another user.

In this article, we discuss steps to resolve this issue. If you find that your OneDrive file is locked for editing or for shared use, then this post will show you how to unlock the file, and make it accessible again.

But before troubleshooting makes sure that document is not being used by another user over a network. Also if the document is being used by some other user make sure that you open the file in Read-only format.

OneDrive file is locked

1] Delete the Owner file

When a user creates and saves the documents, an owner file is automatically created. This file is a temporary file that stores the login name of the user using the document. The owner file has a file name preceded with symbols like the tilde (~) and dollar sign ($). The owner file is present in the same folder that contains your document that is locked.

Open File Explorer. Locate and browse to the folder containing your desired file which shows an error message when you open it.

Now search and locate the Owner file which is preceded by sign ~ followed by $ and the name of the file. Right-click and select Delete.

Now open the same document.

If the above solution does not resolve the issue, try closing all the documents instances.

2] Terminate all the Office file instances

Press the keyboard keys  Ctrl+Alt +Delete and click on Task Manager.

Go to Process tab and search for Winword.exe in case of a Word file.

Right-click on it and click on End Process from the drop-down.

Now go to Files and click on Exit.

Open your document and see.

This should help!

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Pavithra is a Windows enthusiast, who loves keeping abreast with the latest in the world of technology.