If you work in IT, you’re probably familiar with Microsoft Windows users constantly locking files where others are not able to edit them. The problem of locked files seems to be most common with Microsoft Excel users.
It’s very common for users to leave an Excel spreadsheet open, causing an “Excel is locked for editing by another user” error to display for other users attempting to make changes to the spreadsheet.
If you have admin rights, you can force a disconnect and release the file lock using these steps.
Note: If you do not have permissions to release file locks, you may want to ask a person who does to grant you access or ask them to perform these steps.
- Hold the Windows Key and press “R” to bring up the Windows Run dialog screen.
- Type “mmc“, then press “Enter“.
- Go to “File” > “Add/Remove Snap-in…“.
- Scroll down and select “Shared Folders“, then choose “Add“.
- Select “Local computer” if you are logged into the computer or server where the file resides. Otherwise, select “Another computer“, then type the Computer Name of the other computer. You may also select “Browse…” to find the computer name.
- Select “Finish“.
- Select “OK“.
- Expand “Shared Folders“, then select “Open Files“.
- Find the file that is locked, then right-click it and choose “Close Open File“.
Now if you have the other user close the application, then re-open the file, they should be able to edit it without a locking issue.
This post applies to Windows 10, 7, 8, Server 2008, and Server 2012.