We have a situation where the document in SharePoint online library is locked by a remotely working user and now others were not able to checkout or modify/delete the document.

we are unable to take the control of that document other than just download a copy and we tried both online version of excel as well as local installation (office 2010).

I have tried using CSOM but i didnt find any method to do that. can any one share your thoughts.

3 Answers 3


Site collection Administrator can do the following:

  1. Select the document.
  2. In ribbon , under Files tab --> Discard Check out.

All the changes done by that user will be lost and the file can be used by others.

  • 2
    locking is different that check out. admins/owners or even farm owners also doesnt have any control on this situation as it doesnt show those options
    – kesava
    Nov 12, 2015 at 20:30

Sometimes word/excel will report that a document is locked by another users when it isn't checked out in SharePoint. If this is the case, just check the document out in SharePoint (without opening in word/excel) and check it back in again. That seems to have the effect of clearing the file lock.

  • 1
    not really, few cases we even saw it gets auto cleared in 10 min. but looks like when the remote user has opened the document or some thing (that pattern we dont know) it still says its locked.
    – kesava
    Nov 12, 2015 at 20:32

You can try resolving by having

  1. the affected end user save a local copy of the file
  2. upload the copied file to the Library >
  3. and verify the behavior does not occur with the copied file
  4. User can delete the original file from the Library and continue using the copied file going forward


you can try clearing the cache in both the Office Upload Center and the internet browser. navigate to their Office Upload Center found by selecting Office Upload Center Icon on the Task Bar > deleting all problematic file uploads > and clearing the Office Upload Center cache. More info https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Microsoft-Office-Upload-Center-F08161D9-AB64-4486-AF69-7CD30B34DF71

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