Reserved by author

Copper Contributor

I created a doc and put on a password. When I try to open it, first it asks for my password. After I put it in, it gives me a SECOND window that says the document is “reserved by [someone I worked with 10 years ago].” Then I enter my password again in that window and it accepts it. Weird. This has never happened before.


Under "Properties" of the doc, I found that name was listed as the "Author." I erased them, but I still get the same second window, this time with a blank where the name was.


I tried lots of different ways of creating new docs with passwords. Same problem every time, all of a sudden. There seems to be some default to this old employee being the "author" and then "reserving" the doc -- no matter what doc it is.


By the way, I'm on a Mac.

3 Replies



Close the document and exit Word. See if you find any files whose names start with ~$ but, other than that, are similar to the original file name. These are owner files that you should delete. When you re-open the document, the prompt shouldn't occur.


Thanks for your help with this. I found the file when I did a spotlight search. But it doesn't show up in any other way. So I can't seem to delete it.


Also, what's this all about anyway?



I am running Word for Windows myself, so I can't provide any detailed instructions for Word on a Mac, unfortunately. 


The purpose of owner files (which is a type of temporary files) is to keep track of which user has the document open for editing. These files should normally be deleted when you close the original document or exit Word. Therefore, restarting the computer is worth trying. Maybe that fixes the problem.