Occasionally, you might get an error when trying to open an Excel file on a Shared Drive that says "someone has this file open" and it will not let you open or edit the file.  Generally what happens is that the last person using the file got disconnected or did not get logged out correctly and a "hidden" file gets left behind - holding the file open.

To fix this issue:

  • Temporarily turn on hidden files and folders.  To do this, open up file explorer and select the View tab and select "Hidden Items".  Check the box next to "Hidden Items".
  • Navigate to the folder on the shared drive where the file is locked.
  • You will now see a file with the same name that has a tilde (~) character in front of the file name.
  • Check the date on the file.  If it is more than a few days old, you are probably safe to delete it.
  • If unsure, right click on the file.  Select Properties.  Select the Security Tab and click on Advanced.  At the top there will be an Owner listed.  Once you know the owner name, contact that person and double check that they do not have the file open. 
  • Delete the file once you have verified that the owner of the file does not have it open.
  • If you or your IT person are not able to close the file, please contact the ITS Help Desk with a complete path to the file.
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Last updated: 
September 11, 2020