Sorry, something went wrong – The file FILENAME is locked for exclusive use by USER

Problem:  End-Users receive errors when trying to edit a file. “Sorry, something went wrong – The file FILE-URL is locked for exclusive use by USER-NAME”

Sorry, something went wrong - The file FILENAME is locked for exclusive use by USER

Root Cause:
When users edit the document in client applications such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint places a lock and renews it every 10 minutes to prevent other users from modifying it. This lock is released automatically when the client application is closed or after 10 minutes.


But in some scenarios, lock retains due to reasons like: Client application crashes, Network connectivity issues, etc.  So, the simplest solution would be to wait for 10 minutes for the lock to expire. But if you want the lock to be released immediately, You can unlock it programmatically!

There is no UI to unlock the locked files – as we do have for Check-in Checked-out files. So, Here is my solution to unlock the locked files using PowerShell.

 Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

#Variables for Web and File URLs
$WebURL =""
$FileURL ="" 

#Get Web and File Objects
$web = Get-SPWeb $WebURL
$File = $web.GetFile($FileURL)

#Check if File is Checked-out
if ($File.CheckOutType -ne "None")
    Write-host "File is Checked Out to user: " $File.CheckedOutByUser.LoginName
    Write-host "Checked Out Type: " $File.CheckOutType
    Write-host "Checked Out On: "  $File.CheckedOutDate

    #To Release from Checkout, Ask the checked out user to Checkin
    #$File.Checkin("Checked in by Administrator")
    #Write-host "File has been Checked-In"
 #Check if File is locked
 if ($File.LockId -ne $null)
     Write-host "File is Loked out by:" $File.LockedByUser.LoginName
     Write-host "File Lock Type: "$file.LockType
     Write-host "File Locked On: "$file.LockedDate
     Write-host "File Lock Expires on: "$file.LockExpires

     #To Release the lock, use:
     #Write-host "Released the lock!" 

Don’t forget to uncomment the lines 32-33 if you find your files are locked out.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

15 thoughts on “Sorry, something went wrong – The file FILENAME is locked for exclusive use by USER

  • Is there a way to do this for SharePoint Online using CSOM?

  • how it is possible to unlock files regularly ? Does Office Online also lock file ? I have observed the same.

  • Looks like this script has impersonation built in, for unlocking the file:

  • Hi,

    Is there any script for SharePoint Online as well?


  • Getting same issue ,error message”Exception calling ‘ReleaseLock’ with ‘1’ argument(s)”

  • Thanks for the script. Can impersonation be added to this?
    I now get the following error message”Exception calling ‘ReleaseLock’ with ‘1’ argument(s)”

    • Run the script from Farm Admin account or any account which has “Full Control” Web application user policy granted.

  • I now get the following error: Exception calling “ReleaseLock” with “1” argument(s).”

    Can I add impersonation to this script?

  • Do you run this script on the server? Where is the setting for the 10 minute lockout. Our network does not have a 10 minute lockout. Is this done manually?

  • Does it work for SharePoint Online?

  • Excellent! thanks dude!

  • Where/how do I input this code?

    • Use either PowerShell ISE or Save this script as a .ps1 file and run from PowerShell console. Don’t forget to change WebURL and FileURL variables.

  • Thanks man you are a life saver!!!


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