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File in use error

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2013-07-22
In Excel 2007 running on Windows 7 Professional, we constantly get file in use error eventhough the file is not being used by other user. Please let us know how to fix this issue.
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Question by:JCCANYHELPDESK
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Expert Comment

by:CompProbSolv
ID: 37738851
It would be useful to know what generates the error.  Is it starting Excel?  Opening a specific file?  Saving the file back?
Is the file located on the local computer on a different computer?
Lastly, there are a number of programs out there that will show you what has locked a file (if that really is the source of the error message).  I have used "unlocker", but a search on that term will show you a variety of tools to accomplish this.
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Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 37738910
Do you explicitly Close the file when you're done with it?
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Accepted Solution

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BigRMV earned 500 total points
ID: 37738919
Is this a file on a shared, networked machine?  If so, you'll need to log onto the network storage host machine's console and then look to see if the file is open on that system.  To do this:

-- Open a Windows Explorer window
-- Right-mouse click on the host's MY COMPUTER
-- Select MANAGE from the context menu
-- Under SYSTEM TOOLS, expand the SHARED FOLDERS item
-- Click on OPEN FILES and search for the drive\path\filename that shows up as open.  If it's there, you'll see which user has it open and whether or not it's locked.
-- Contact the user who has it open.  If that user isn't using it, right-mouse click on the file and select CLOSE OPEN FILE from the context menu.

If this file is not on the network, this could be a permissions problem.  To find out if you have rights to that file:

-- Navigate to the directory housing the file.
-- Right-mouse click on the file and select PROPERTIES from the context menu.
-- Click on the SECURITY tab at the top.
-- Look for your username in the list.  If it's there, click it and make sure that you have at least MODIFY rights to that file.
-- If not, give yourself rights to that file if allowed.  

If you do have MODIFY rights but still can't get into that file or if you can't change the rights, try to take ownership of it by following the first 3 steps above and:

-- Click the ADVANCED button.
-- Click the OWNER button.
-- If you are already the owner, stop.  The problem is elsewhere.  Otherwise, click the EDIT button.  
-- If your user isn't in the CHANGE OWNER TO list, click the OTHER USERS OR GROUP button.
-- Select your username from the list and click OK.
-- Select your username from the CHANGE OWNER TO list and click the OK button.
-- "OK" your way out and try to open the file.

If none of this has worked, you may have a corrupted or locked file.  The quickest way to unlock all files is a system reboot.  You can also use a program like UNLOCKER ( http://majorgeeks.com/Unlocker_d4660.html ) to clear the lock.

If the file is corrupted, you can try to repair the file(s) by running a disk checking program.
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