The file is currently checked out or locked. I need to delete this file and I cant. please help!

Copper Contributor

I am the administrator of the Group/Folder/& file that I'm referring to here.  I'm organizing some documents and moving them to subfolders.  There is one document that I cannot move or delete.  I get this error message:  The file is currently checked out or locked for editing by another user.  The other user shows as me but I am not editing this document.  How do I release the lock?  

21 Replies

@Ollie_Mille Have you tried to ope the Files location in the SharePoint view and checked the file check in option there?



Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting. I've experienced Teams locking a file if it's created inside Teams, if created directly in SharePoint no such issue exists.


Give it a an hour or so


@Ollie_MilleThis error is the bane of my existence.  I have searched and searched and while some people claim to have solutions, none of them have ever worked for me.  From what I have read this error has been around for a long time and there is not straightforward solution.



I'm experiencing a somewhat similar issue from within SharePoint Online.  I found a way of deleting the item that may help. 


If you have access to the SharePoint library directly, you should be able to select Version History from the options menu for the item in question.  Here's how I was able to get rid of the problem child:



 Next, I select Delete All Versions:
Version 2.png

 Once I did that, I then opened the "locked" version in Word and saved it.


Now I can go back to the list in SharePoint and delete the item.  

Your mileage may vary on this but it worked for me.  

Nope, didn't work for me. I was still getting error messages saying that it was still locked@jbryant 

@Ollie_Mille Go to Settings --> Versioning Settings, in the right pane, where it indicates: "Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited?" say: NO.

@Ollie_Mille Select the problematic document-click the "open" tag-select "edit in teams"-click "file" and then select "save as" to save the document. Then you can delete it.

I was having an issue with a file being checked out by another team member...First I tried just unsharing the document with the manage access option...but it was still checked out.  I ended up looking while in TEAMs under the "more" and there was an option to "check-in" this allowed me then to delete it. 


@Ollie_Mille I have done it!

Select the file, right click and choose version history.

View the dropdown menu next to the date and click view.   Choose to check in (I am an admin so may not work if you are not)

Once it was checked in I was able to delete.

Good luck


I've faced the same problem and tried open in the Sharepoint just like you suggested and it works!
Thank you.
You get the gold star. This worked for me. Easy fix.

@Melissa2985 SAME!!!  I have seen many complaints about this and ZERO solutions that actually work.  Has anyone ever fixed this?  I have spent DAYS on this.  I can't rename the locked files, move them, delete them.  These locked files make everyone hate to use sharepoint.

I tried @jbryant suggestion, and it seemed to work, but then later I discovered the file was still present and checked out and therefore locked. I have since discovered from the help pages that there is a way to unlock files.
Go to the list of files. Just to the right of the file there are 3 dots. Left click on those and a list of options appears. Go down to the bottom and right click 'more'. From some further options that appear, choose 'check in'.
The file is now no longer checked out. You can then delete the file if you wish and add a new version or whatever you want to do with it.
You can use this procedure to to check out the file yourself.

I was able to delete a locked file by by right-clicking in document library view and select "Move to" and then select "My files" and move it to my personal OneDrive. You will get a warning that the file properties will be lost upon moving it to the new destination, just click move anyway.


You should be able to delete the file from your OneDrive with no problems after that.


Right click on file you want to moveRight click on file you want to moveSelect my filesSelect my filesClick "Move anyway"Click "Move anyway"



Thank you - you are correct, just in addition I had to go to restore a "phantom" file and then was presented with a menu to delete it and it worked.  It seems that one has to drill down to the most basic edition of the file and then it will allow deletion.