I'm trying to test a workflow on SharePoint Online. I created a document (using the "New" button) and added a short sentence that it's a test document and to contact me if they receive an email message about this document. I was editing in the browser, since that's how the document opened.

I proceeded to initiate the approval workflow (manually) after turning on the "Require Approval" setting for this list. Now I am receiving a message that The file "https://tennant.sharepoint.com/sites/BellEvans/department/Document Control/Document.docx" is locked for shared use by {user}. How can I resolve this issue? I've tried clearing my cookies/cache, logging out of office 365, and restarting Chrome.

1 Answer 1


Have you checked in the list settings>Manage files which have no checked in version?

In my system at least, a user can still edit a document which has been sent for approval - it simply invalidates the approval workflow instead of locking the file for editing.

  • Just went to try this, and as I was I received the task assignment email and it looks like it went through. I'll keep this in mind if this comes up again!
    – vanblart
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 15:33

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