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I want to hold an exclusive lock on a file so it cannot be read or written by anything else. Is there a simple Windows tool or command to do this?

I suppose the tool or utility would implement the LockFileEx Windows Function.

Note: I've tried text editors like Notepad and Notepad++ on a text file but they don't hold an exclusive lock on it.

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Why not just make one? Also, how long should they hold the lock? Should they wait for some event? –  Mehrdad Jun 9 '11 at 2:38
I considered programming one but figured there's a quick tool, editor or command I can use. On superuser not all users are programmers. bit.ly/lXT6ey I didn't want to go the Stackoverflow route with this question. Am testing the behaviour of an app when it can't access files. –  John K Jun 9 '11 at 2:53
I might be able to make one for you -- just lemme know when the lock should be released. –  Mehrdad Jun 9 '11 at 2:57
see also my similar question superuser.com/questions/519389/flock-command-for-windows –  eadmaster Dec 18 '12 at 2:50
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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Try Easy File Locker (freeware).

enter image description here

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Works great for me. +1 Thanks. –  John K Jan 25 '12 at 5:05
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Simpler solution: In the directory of interest run from cmd line:

notepad >filetolock

As re-directed stdout, it will remain locked until the application (notepad) is terminated.

Note that the "filetolock" will be overwritten by the re-direct, so you probably don't want to use an existing file of any importance. An empty "filetolock" won't matter to the application you're trying to test, as the app won't be able to open it anyway.

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use append redirect instead to now overwrite filetolock: notepad >>filetolock –  eadmaster Apr 18 at 1:38
very useful solution, no need to install anything –  deathApril May 1 at 16:06
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Open it with MS-Excel... this app locks a file while open.

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And I thought Excel was useful before! –  Scott Stafford Oct 4 '12 at 19:58
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