Microsoft Office document is locked for editing by another user Error [Fix]

For creating any documents, MS office products are the best tools that come to our minds. Have you recently got an error message while trying to open a word or excel file document that said “The document is locked for editing by another user“? This has happened to many windows users recently and they are not sure why this is happening and how to resolve this error.

This type of error has been noted when someone else also opened this file for editing. In this article, we are going to show you how you can resolve this error and continue editing the ms office document with the help of these solutions listed below.

Workaround¬†1 –¬†Follow the instructions below on closing the owner file on your system.

  1. Open the folder where the document file which is throwing this error message is present.
  2. If another user is already editing the file and currently in use, then there will be a file as ~$<filename> where filename is the name of the document file that is throwing error.
  3. Now once you get that file, delete it by pressing the delete key after selecting it.
  4. After deleting make sure there is no file that starts with ~$ symbols.
  5. Now check if the error message is still thrown while opening the document.

Solution 1 – Close the Opened File using Computer Management Console

If the user receives an error while opening any ms office document whether it’s a word or excel, this can be because some other user might have currently opened the file for editing and it is still in use. But we are not sure exactly which user has done it. So to find out, we use the computer management console and then close the opened files.

Here are the steps on how to close the opened file using the computer management console.

Step 1: Press the Windows + R keys together on the keyboard which opens the run command box.

Step 2: Type mmc and press Enter key.


Open Mmc 11zon


Step 3: This opens the Microsoft Management Console window.

Step 4: Now open the Add or Remove Snap-ins window by navigating through the File > Add or Remove Snap-ins option as shown below.

NOTE – You can also open it directly by pressing Ctrl + M keys together.


Open Add Or Remove Snap Ins 11zon


Step 5: Now scroll down the Available snap-ins list and select the Shared Folders option and click Add button in between the Available snap-ins and Selected snap-ins section as shown below.


Add Shared Folders 11zon


Step 6: Now a window pops up called Shared Folders as soon as you click Add button, select the Local Computer radio button under This snap-in will always manage section.

Step 7: Select the Open Files option under the View section at the bottom and click Finish to proceed.


Select Local Shared Folders 11zon


Step 8: This will add the Open Files (Local) option to the Selected snap-ins section and click OK.


Ok Shared Folders 11zon


Step 9: Now expand the Shared Folders option on the left panel and select Open Files.

Step 10: Then on the right side of the Console window, you can see the list of Open files.

Step 11: Select the ms office document file from the list and right-click on it and then click Close Open File from its context menu as shown below.


Close Open File 11zon


Step 12: This will close the word or excel file which is currently open for editing by some other user on the system.

Step 13: Once you are done, you can close the Console window.

Now you can try opening the ms office document without any errors.

Solution 2 – End all the open processes of the Word or Excel

Even after the MS office products like word or excel applications are closed on the system, there might be several background processes of these applications still running on the system. This might actually also be the reason behind this error that is occurring. So we need to make sure that all the instances of the word or excel app in the system are closed using the task manager.

Follow the steps below on how to do it.

Step 1: To open the Task Manager window, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys altogether at once on the keyboard.

Step 2: In the Task Manager window, make sure you are on the Processes tab as shown below.

Step 3: Then, select the Word or Excel app instance that is open and then you need to right-click on it.

Step 4: Click End task from the context menu which closes the app on the system as shown below.


End Task Word 11zon


Step 5: Repeat the same to close all the instances of Word or Excel that are open even under the Background Processes list.

Step 6: Close the Task Manager window after it is done and try opening the document and check if the error has disappeared now.

Solution 3 – Update Windows and also MS Office Suite

If the windows system and MS Office suite are outdated, this might be causing the error to happen while opening any document. So let us try keeping the windows and ms office suite updated on the system with the steps explained below.

Step 1: Press the Win+R keys together and type ms-settings:windowsupdate and then press Enter key.


Open Windows Update From Run 11zon


Step 2: This takes you to the Windows Update page on the Settings app.

Step 3: Click the Check for updates button present on the top right corner of the page as shown below.


Check For Updates 11zon


Step 4: This will check for any windows updates that are available on the system.

Step 5: If there are any updates present, please download and install them all.

Step 6: Once installed, restart the system to take effects.

Step 7: To update the MS Office suite app, open any of the MS Office products like Word, Excel, etc.

Step 8: Click Account on the left side of the app window.


Account 11zon


Step 9: Click Update Options and then click the Update Now option from the dropdown as shown below.


Update Now 11zon (1)


Step 10: Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the update process.

Solution 4 – Disable both Details Pane and Preview Pane options in File Explorer

Some windows users have tried disabling the details pane and preview pane option in the file explorer and this has worked out for them. So we recommend our users try this method and see if this works for you also.

Steps to disable both details pane and preview pane in file explorer.

Step 1: Press the Win+E keys together to open the File Explorer on the system.

Step 2: Now go to the View option on top bar menu as shown below.

Step 3: Hover over the Show option from the dropdown list.

Step 4: Now in the list of Show option, make sure Details pane and Preview pane options are turned off and there is no tick mark before them as shown below.


Disable Details Pane And Preview Pane 11zon


Step 5: Once done, close the file explorer.