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File locking on Windows desktop

Owners and editors of shared files can lock and unlock files in Windows with the Syncplicity client.  

The following are prerequisites:

  • File locking must be enabled for your organization's account.
  • You must have an Enterprise edition account.
  • You are the owner of the file or have editor privileges for the shared file you want to lock.

Behaviors when files are locked

You can delete, move or rename a locked file, but in the client desktop:

  • The lock owner's device delays a remote event while a file is locked.
  • Locked files remain in the original location with the original name.
  • The lock owner is notified when a locked file has been moved, renamed or deleted. The notification occurs locally when the file is unlocked.

Users can update a locked file or upload a new version before the lock expires. The lock owner changes the master file when the file is locked. Changes by non-owners create copies (branches) of the locked file.

Keep track of the lock times you set to avoid conflicts. A file unlocks when a lock expires; you don't receive notifications when locks are about to expire. When a lock expires, another user can lock the file.

File locks are active until the lock expires when:

  • You stop sharing a file or a folder, but another user has active locks on it. 
  • You stop the synchronization of a folder in Syncplicity, but there are active locks in it.
  • A lock owner is deleted from Syncplicity or was moved to pending off-boarding state.

File locking is device specific. If you lock a file locally, you cannot unlock it from the online file browser (OFB) or vice-versa. Your locks are regarded as locks by other users on different devices. Once the lock expires from the original device, you can lock the file on a different device.

If your computer's local time is off by more than 5 minutes, you may not be able to lock or unlock a file. Time zone changes do not affect the file locking functionalities.

Lock a file

If you are working on a file with other collaborators, lock the file when you open or download it for editing. This ensures that no other users can apply changes to the master copy of a shared file and that your changes are saved to the master copy.

You can lock a file for as little as 5 minutes or as long as 2 hours.

  1. Locate the shared file you want to lock in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the file and select Lock file. The lock duration dialog is displayed.
  3. Select the lock duration from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Lock.

The file is locked for the selected period. Other users see a notification that you have locked the file, but they can create copies and edit those. A padlock icon is displayed for the file. For example:

The file unlocks when the lock duration expires, unless you unlock it manually first. If you want to extend the lock duration, reset the lock before it expires.

If the folder ownership is changed, the folder remains shared with original owner (by default, it assumes the editor permission).

Unlock a file

If you no longer need to work on a file, you can unlock it before the lock duration expires.

  1. Locate the shared file you want to unlock in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the file and select Unlock.

Change or view the lock duration

You can change the duration of the lock anytime before the lock expires. If you do, the lock is reset to the new period you select. The reset lock duration is not added to or subtracted from the period set previously. For example, if you lock a file for 1 hour, but 30 minutes later decide to reset the lock to 20 minutes, the reset duration expires after 20 minutes.

You also can use the following steps to check how much time remains before a lock expires.

  1. Locate the locked file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the locked file and select Lock settings. The lock duration dialog is displayed. The dialog states how long until the lock expires.
  3. To reset the lock, select a duration from the drop-down menu and click Update.
  4. Click Close to close the dialog.

In addition, you or anybody else who has access to the shared file can right-click the file in Windows Explorer and see when the lock expires in the context menu.


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