Excel 2003 shared workbook locking issue

Posted on 2007-07-24
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am having an issue with Excel 2003 files shared over a network. The problem is only occurring with one user- all other users are OK. The error is this:

"File is locked. In order to save changes to the file, you can either close the file before making any changes and then re-open it, use Save As (file menu) to save the file using another filename, or turn off shared workbooks and then save the file."

This is error is happening on all files in one particular folder- this folder is on a NAS device. I have made sure no one else has the file open. I have rebooted the NAS device. I have disconnected the mapped drive. I have rebooted the user's PC. These are shared workbooks- there should not be a locking issue as far as I know. Please advise-
Question by:ron_finnerty
    LVL 45

    Accepted Solution


    Shared Excel files:

    Excel does not handle 'Shared' workbooks reliably. They are often corrupted at random and apparently without cause. Clearly there is a cause but it has not yet been isolated and fixed by MS. There is nothing you can do to avoid shared workbooks corrupting. The ONLY thing that can be done is to make them single user.

    To help you with the single user file system try adopting this approach instead. It does work rather well so it's worth doing. First make the file(s) single user. Second edit everyone's user profile in Excel - Tools/Options/General/UserName and in there put the person's name and telephone extension number. Then whenever you attempt to open a file that someone else is using, a dialogue box will pop-up telling you who is the current user - and it tells you their telephone extension number! The new user can opt to either call the current user or open the file as read-only.

    Hope that helps

    LVL 81

    Expert Comment

    by:zorvek (Kevin Jones)
    See if this helps:


    Expert Comment

    New version of MS Office Application have hidden file as locked/temporary file that can be removed.  
    Click on Tools >> Folder Options , Click on View Tab.  Make sure that you check the radio button "Show hidden files and folders".

    Old Microsoft files used to be ~abcetc format, but the new one should looks similiar to this F5236100, EA0E5100, etc.  You should be able to tell right away since they are human readable filename and only show up once you turn show hidden files on.  Delete those files and you should be able to open the locked file.

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