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We have some Problems regarding the MS Office Dialog telling someone, that a File is already open by a User. I've ask all other IT Colleges and Googled for 2 hours but I've found nothing helpful.

The Problem in Detail.

We have two PCs and one FileServer. The FileServer has two Folders. There are two users.

User 1 opens an Excel File from folder 1 in Office 2007. Than User 2 opens the same File. Office is saying "... is open by 'User 1'". Then User 1 opens an Excel File from folder 2 in Office 2007. User 2 opens the same File. Office is saying "... is open by 'another user'".

The Permissions on the Folders and the Excel Files are both Full Control for both users. I've also controlled this permissions in both folders with the "effective permissions" tab.

On the FileServer in Computermanagement I can always see, who has opened the File in the "open files" Category and this information is always correct. Does anyone have any idea why Office isn't telling the User, who has opened the second file and instead just telling it is open by another user?

I've found those two pages, sorry, both in German, tough I searched with englisch keywords, but maybe they are helpful to someone either with translating tools or for german users...

http://www.tech-archive.net/Archive/German/microsoft.public.de.german.office/2007-07/msg00022.html http://excelnova.org/2015/10/excel-datei-durch-einen-anderen-benutzer-gesperrt/

EDIT: Additional Info: I just discovered, that when I copy the mentioned obove File 2 to my Desktop and open it twice in Excel, it says, the File is already open by 'van Thiel, Kevin'". So this is working fine on my Desktop, but not on the File Server. But on the same File Server in another directory it also just works fine. Someone any idea what it could be?

Kind regards, Kevin van Thiel

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  • Maybe this helps? – Vinayak Mar 17 '16 at 9:47
  • This doesn't help because as I said, when I connect to our File Server via RDP, I can go to this very setting and do the same thing, but I don't want to close the File, I want Office to let others know, who has opened the File without asking us IT Employees for it. Just like explained in the example with File 1. – Geco Mynx Mar 17 '16 at 9:57
  • Sorry, my bad. Maybe this hotfix will fix the issue. – Vinayak Mar 17 '16 at 10:51
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    @GecoMynx Are there any so-called 'owner files' on the share where the file exists? These files are hidden and start with a ~$ and the rest of it is the filename of the document. Does deleting the owner file help? This file is supposed to hold the name of the user who opened it and Word/Excel uses this file to detect if anyone is currently editing it and find out their username. If the share where the file is at is read-only, you'll get the opened by 'another user' error. More on this here: support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/211632 – Vinayak Mar 17 '16 at 14:24
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    You're welcome :) I'll add an answer soon so you can accept. Comments may get deleted during housekeeping. – Vinayak Mar 17 '16 at 14:35
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You may need to check the network share to make sure that it's not read-only and look for the presence of the so-called 'owner files' which are hidden files with filenames starting with ~$ followed by the name of the Office document.

According to Microsoft*, these 'owner files' are created when an Office document is opened by a user. They are created in the same folder as the document and contain the user's logon name.

When you open a document that's already in use by another user, the Office program uses this file to determine the name of the user currently using the file. However, if the network share is read-only, the file wouldn't be created and you may get the locked for editing by another user error.

Office programs normally delete this file when you close a document but if the program was abnormally terminated, the file may stay behind.

You can try deleting any 'owner files' you find on the network share and see if that works.

Other people facing a similar problem can also try installing this hotfix or looking through this TechNet thread for alternative solutions.


*Owner File (Same Directory as Source File)

When a previously saved file is opened for editing, for printing, or for review, Word creates a temporary file that has a .doc file name extension. This file name extension begins with a tilde (~) that is followed by a dollar sign ($) that is followed by the remainder of the original file name. This temporary file holds the logon name of person who opens the file. This temporary file is called the "owner file."

When you try to open a file that is available on a network and that is already opened by someone else, this file supplies the user name for the following error message:

This file is already opened by user name. Would you like to make a copy of this file for your use?

Word may be unable to create an owner file. For example, Word cannot create an owner file when the document is on a read-only share. In this case, the error message changes to the following error message:

This file is already opened by another user. Would you like to make a copy of this file for your use?

Note Word automatically deletes this temporary file from memory when the original file is closed.

When you open a file by using the HTTP or FTP protocol, the file is first copied to the temp directory. Then, the file is opened from the temp directory.

When you open a file on a UNC share with Word 2007, the file is first copied to the temp directory. Then, the file is opened from the temp directory.

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  • Deleting the left-over Owner-File after closing the Excel-File totally worked for me. Thank you very much =D – Geco Mynx Mar 17 '16 at 17:54

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