Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Excel file "is locked for editing". How to release? ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Excel file "is locked for editing". How to release?
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: tdub33-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 04 Mar 2003 08:21 PST
Expires: 03 Apr 2003 08:21 PST
Question ID: 170482
Occasionally my computer has shutdown while I've had an excel file
open (power failure, etc).  When I go back and try to open the file it
says its "locked for editing" by me, even though I obviously know I do
not have the file open.  My only solution is to open as read only and
save changes as a different file name.  Is there a way to "release"
this file so I can open it up again and keep using under the same
Subject: Re: Excel file "is locked for editing". How to release?
Answered By: hammer-ga on 04 Mar 2003 08:53 PST
The Newsgroup articles mentioned by PinkFreud are correct. 

When you run Excel, it writes a temporary file to tell it that a
particular workbook is open. When you close, it deletes that temporary
file. A crash prevents Excel from deleting the temporary file,
therefore, it insistes that the work book is still open.

After a crash, reboot, then clear out your Windows/Temp directory. You
may need to reboot again.

I forced a crash from Excel and this method did work.

Try the search strategy below and read the articles.

Search strategy:
Google Groups
Excel "file locked for editing" crash

- Hammer

Request for Answer Clarification by tdub33-ga on 04 Mar 2003 09:41 PST
I cleared out the temp file and it still won't open.  However, I use
Windows 2000 and I see there's several temp folders (in WINNT,
documents and settings, local, etc.).  Could it be stored in one of
these?  Any idea what the .tmp file I'm looking for looks like?

Clarification of Answer by hammer-ga on 04 Mar 2003 10:52 PST
Windows 2000 will put it in 
c:\Documents And Settings\YourUserName\Local Settings\Temp

The file will be named something like: ~DF5AF.tmp

- Hammer
Subject: Re: Excel file "is locked for editing". How to release?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 04 Mar 2003 08:29 PST
This series of newsgroup posts may be informative:

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy