I am running a file server on Windows Server 2016 with ~15 users. One user has a lot of difficulty accessing files on the shared drive. The following occurs:

  • Many (sometimes all) files are locked and the user gets a popup that "Another user" is using the file -- the other user is never named. I am absolutely sure that the files are not being used by another user.

  • When checking Open Files and Sessions on the file server using Computer Management, the user will often have 20+ open files and two active sessions. These will not disappear when the file is closed nor when logging out/in.

  • In order to regain access to files, the only temporary solution has been to manually close open files and sessions from the server side.

Why is the lock not being removed on files, and is there a more permanent solution?

  • What operating system is the user on? And the other users? Does the problem occur on other systems for the same user as well? – Koraktor Aug 8 '18 at 20:10
  • Good question. I have not tried on another workstation, but that's a good idea. The user is on Windows 7 Pro. – Cliff Aug 8 '18 at 20:18
  • Windows 7 (and 2008 R2) both have the problem described in the answer by vmsT. See my comment there for a workaround. – Koraktor Aug 8 '18 at 20:21

The locks can be made by Windows Explorer, that tries to preview content of files when folder opened. In past, i has problems with pdf files, so i change pdf viewer application to another and problem gone. Worth checking for presenting different applications on user PCs like system-level backup or cloud syncing. Also try sysinternals Process explorer to track used file handles

  • It’s probably worth noting that disabling the preview pane in Explorer might eliminate this problem. – Koraktor Aug 8 '18 at 20:08

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