On our SP2013 on-premises environment. We have OWA installed. Recently Excel file (.xlsx) is locked and prompt for the error at title. We confirmed the opened the file 2 days ago. At this moment, everyone can only open it as read-only. The OWA cannot preview or open the file, too.

I understand this issue is hard to trace. However, whether any available method to unlock it by Site Collection Admin?

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you've already tried checking the document in or overriding the check out, but that there is a persistent client application lock (so it is "locked for editing" rather than "checked out").

Since you have an on-premises SharePoint farm, you can use Powershell to override this type of lock.

A farm administrator can log into one of your web front end servers, crack open the SharePoint Management Shell, then execute the following Powershell commands:

$web = get-spweb "http://YourSharePointEnv.com/siteurl"
$list = $web.Lists["Your Library Name"]
$item = $list.Items.GetItemById($IDofDocumentToUnlock)

Replace $IDofDocumentToUnlock with whatever value is in the ID field for the locked document in SharePoint.

  • 1
    The answer is valid but do not help me. We cannot just walk in the server room and run PowerShell because security regulation. I also open a question asking the client-side way to unlock. Would you please take a look?
    – Mark L
    Jan 5, 2016 at 2:46

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