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MatthewGrantAU
Advocate II
Advocate II

Flow causing error code 423 file locked by user

Hi,

 

I keep getting error 423 locked by user in a flow since Aug 31 5:13am.

The log shows consistent successful flows until this date, and then it is only successful once every couple of hours.

 

eg:

Sep 10, 10:28 AM (16 min ago)
00:00:04
Succeeded
Sep 10, 9:58 AM (46 min ago)
00:00:04
Failed
Sep 10, 9:28 AM (1 h ago)
00:00:04
Failed
Sep 10, 8:58 AM (1 h ago)
00:00:03
Failed
Sep 10, 8:28 AM (2 h ago)
00:00:02
Succeeded
Sep 10, 7:58 AM (2 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 10, 7:28 AM (3 h ago)
00:00:03
Failed
Sep 10, 6:58 AM (3 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 10, 6:28 AM (4 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 10, 5:58 AM (4 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 10, 5:28 AM (5 h ago)
00:00:01
Failed
Sep 9, 9:58 PM (12 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 9, 9:28 PM (13 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 9, 8:58 PM (13 h ago)
00:00:03
Failed
Sep 9, 8:28 PM (14 h ago)
00:00:02
Succeeded
Sep 9, 7:58 PM (14 h ago)
00:00:03
Failed
Sep 9, 7:28 PM (15 h ago)
00:00:02
Succeeded
Sep 9, 6:58 PM (15 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 9, 6:28 PM (16 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 9, 5:58 PM (16 h ago)
00:00:03
Failed
Sep 9, 5:28 PM (17 h ago)
00:00:02
Failed
Sep 9, 4:58 PM (17 h ago)
00:00:05
Failed
Sep 9, 4:28 PM (18 h ago)
00:00:03
Succeeded

 

 

The Flow copies an excel file from an FTP source and writes it in Onedrive for Business.  This triggers every 30 minutes.

 

 

The Excel file in Onedrive is NEVER opened by any user.  Only Flow writes to the file.

I can test open and save it from Excel application and I get no lock error.

 

There is no logic problem in the flow, as the flow can work successfully intermittently, and was always successful until Aug 31.

 

 

thanks for your help, Matt.

 

 

I think the Flow ID is 299ee131-ca96-4027-bb90-1e9c949f04f2

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 10.28.42.pngScreen Shot 2018-09-09 at 08.04.01.png

49 REPLIES 49
JBHorne
Advocate I
Advocate I

Same issue here. I have a Create Table action and then immediately need to Get Rows from that table. The Create Table action though doesn't release the lock on the file when it's done with it. Files are on OneDrive.

 

Previously I was using the "List rows present in a table" action, which was working, but found out the hard way this is (stupidly) limited to 256 rows with no workaround.

JBHorne
Advocate I
Advocate I

Same issue here. I have a Create Table action and then immediately need to Get Rows from that table. The Create Table action though doesn't release the lock on the file when it's done with it. Files are on OneDrive.

 

Previously I was using the "List rows present in a table" action, which was working, but found out the hard way this is (stupidly) limited to 256 rows with no workaround.

v-bacao-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @MatthewGrantAU,

 

 

I used to encounter the same issue when I used Excel Online.

 

This is a mechanism of Excel Online, which will check out or lock when others edit content. Sometimes the file is locked by another user, and other times the "another user" is actually you.

 

Here Flow can be seen as a user. Its request can be seen as the user's operation.

 

Generally, I have to operate for a while, so that it will automatically check in.

 

Maybe the link below could help you a little:

 

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Using-Flows/Microsoft-Flow-Excel-File-Locked-While-Not-Open/m-p/...

 

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/excel-file-is-locked-for-editing-by-another-user-6fa93887-2...

 

Best Regards,

Barry

Community Support Team _ Barry
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
Anonymous
Not applicable

I'm also experiencing issues with 423 errors which are driving me mad.

I'm using a Flow to fill in a "template" Excel file, then copy it to another location before resetting the template. Everything was working perfectly until two weeks ago: my template file is now locked 24/7 and every single flow fails.

 

I've made a copy of the template in another folder which I've been using since. This worked for about a week, and now this second file is also locked permanently.

 

I should add that absolutely no one has access to the files besides the Flow.

 

I haven't been able to find a solution yet...

 

 

Thanks Barry,

 

Unfortunately, there is nothing to help me in these links.

Suggesting things like 'close the file', 'notify the locking user', 'wait an (unspecified amount) of time', are good initial troubleshooting steps, but this is an issue with FLOW not closing EXCEL files stored in ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS.

  • Flow opens and closes the file - we have no control over this function.
  • Flow is the only 'user' that accesses the file - there is no one else to notify about the issue.
  • This is three Microsoft cloud services that are not working together correctly - It is a Microsoft problem.
  • Waiting for the file to unlock is not a useful suggestion, when we are not told how long the lock holds for.  eg. My flow only triggers every 30 minutes and the lock error occurs 75-85% of runs; mostly, but not always.  If a flow can only trigger a file write to OneDrive once an hour, or even less, then the function is basically unusable.
  • This flow was running – without failures– for weeks and weeks, and then on Aug 31, suddenly began failing over 75% of runs, with no user intervention - there must be a flow-onedrive connector fault somewhere.

We (me and the many other users in the forum with these flow-related 423 errors) need Microsoft to please have a deeper look at this file lock problem and sort it out.

 

regards,
Matt

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Matt,

 

Are you, by any chance, using different Excel connectors inside the same flow? I.e. Excel, then Excel (OneDrive) or Excel (Business)?

 

Adrien

How are you running your create table? Is your create table always run and then on failure you just continue with the next step? Or are you avoiding the create table if the table already exists?

 

 

@Pieter_Veenstra, I do not know if @MatthewGrantAU is using a Create Table action, but I am. These excel files will never have a table, and there's no way to get rows without one, so we create one first. Basically, the failure now brings the entire flow to a compelte halt. We have ZERO work around.

@Anonymous here's the part where this fails. Even a delay of 1 hour doesn't work...

 

2018-09-13_13-13-10.png

@Anonymous: Not using multiple connectors, in fact, there are NO Excel connectors used in this flow; It is a very simple flow that runs like this:

1. timed trigger (30min)

2. Get file from FTP

3. Create File - Write this file to OneDrive for Business

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 13.35.05.png

 

@Pieter_Veenstra: The table is already created by users in the FTP version of the file.  Flow is simply copying the .xlsx file to ODfB so it can be read.

 

Additional Info:  There is a second flow that does interact with this Excel file. It performs 'List Rows in file' on this ODfB file using the Excel(Business) connector; It is a read-only operation to get rows, and this second flow is successful every time it runs, so I hadn't considered it, but I just temporarily paused this second flow and the First, failing flow, begins to be successful each time again (after a wait for the last lock to clear).

 

This seems to indicate that the Excel (business) connector that performs the read-only operation to List Rows is the culprit causing the lock.  Note again, this flow also runs every 30 minutes, and never fails, even though it is accessing the same file.  For some reason, this read operation locks the file so the ODfB Create File operation will fail, but this flow can continue to access the file to read it successfully in the same time period.  It is like a 'read-only' flag is being set by the Excel connector and never released; so a subsequent read operation passes, but a write fails.

 

Hope this helps you narrow it down.

 

regards,
Matt

You might want to have a look at this post:

https://veenstra.me.uk/2018/09/13/microsoft-flow-excel-add-a-row-into-a-table-without-failure/

 

I've got the feeling that create tables cause trouble. I have had my flow now running for days after I ensured that the create table doesn't fail.

Hi Matt ( @MatthewGrantAU) ,

 

Having multiple flows read and write to the same excel file might be causing the problems. Is it possible to merge these two flows into one or is that something that isn't possible in your process?

 

Hi Pieter,

 

thanks for the suggestions.

 

1. 'Create Tables causing issue' - There is no create tables operation in any flow.  The table is already created in the user-modified FTP version of the Excel file and flow never updates the rows or tables or anything inside the sheet; Flow only reads the table for sending data to another operation.   It is this 'read-only' Excel(Business) connector in the second flow that is locking the file.

 

2. 'merge the two flows' - Originally this was one flow, but I was having trouble early on with the file getting locked and then having to rename the file and update all the references to it in the flow, and this got annoying, so I separated out the function that copies the file from FTP to OneDrive so it would be less of a problem if the file became permanently locked again.

 

Remember also, this flow was running every 15 minutes WITHOUT FAILURE until Aug 31, when 'something' broke and the file lock issue suddenly started occuring.  So, while I accept your suggestion that multiple flows accessing the file 'could' cause issues, there was no problem at all for many weeks, until this sudden intermittent failing began; It all points to a Microsoft backend/connector issue that has arisen.

 

Anyone from Microsoft want to join this discussion??

 

thanks,
Matt

GabrielStJohn
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello, @MatthewGrantAU!

 

Thank you for posting on the Flow Community Forum! Have you had an opportunity to apply @v-bacao-msft‘s recommendation to adapt your Flow? If yes, and you find that solution to be satisfactory, please go ahead and click “Accept as Solution” so that this thread will be marked for other users to easily identify!


Thank you for being an active member of the Flow Community!

 

-Gabriel
Flow Community Manager

- Gabriel
Community Manager
Power Automate | Power Virtual Agents
Super User Program Manager



Hi Gabriel.
Yes, I replied to Barry in post #6... Did you read the thread?

His suggestions do not help or resolve the issue; there are no other users accessing the file- flow opens it to read the table and then does not close it/ release the lock properly for up to 3hours after the run.

Of course, if I was happy to wait 3hours between runs, the lock would clear itself each time and there would be no problem. This is not acceptable since the flow needs to runs every 30 minutes.
Can you please have the flow engineers look at why Flow stopped closing the file correctly on Aug 31? This is when the problem started and was not failing prior to that date.

I don't appreciate you appearing in the thread, referencing the only other Microsoft employee post and asking me to mark it complete if it helped.... This will not help other forum users find an answer, instead this will become yet another abondoned 'error 423' thread where Microsoft cannot provide a solution.

Thank you

I have a similar problem, in my case flow used to work fine, but after I added Excel "Get worksheets" and "Get tables" action blocks for troubleshooting purposes, the next time I executed the flow the target file got locked. 

I found the best clue to identify the problem in this thread. Thankx @MatthewGrantAU for sharing it!

Since I did not really need these two action blocks, I removed both of them and waited for 3 hours, the file got unlocked and the flow didn't failed since them.

 

Let's hope Microsoft will fix "Get Rows" / "Get worksheets" / "Gat Tables" current behaviour soon, there are several threads open in this community describing File Locked related problems, at least a couple of them (this one and also https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Using-Flows/Getting-error-The-file-is-locked-for-shared-use-by-w... ) with more than six different users confirming they reproduced it also...

Did I make your day? If so, mark my response as 'Solution' !!!

También escribo sobre Power Automate en este Blog y en Twitter

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Matt,

 

Have you had a resolution to this problem?

 

I have encountered a similar error message "Error Code 423 file lock" when using the "List rows present in a table" from Excel for Business.

 

Does anybody in Microsoft knows or cares about resolving this problem?

Microsoft caring? That's funny! Smiley LOL

Hello @Anonymous,

 

When you're building a flow to get Excel info from OneDrive use only connectors form Excel Online. 

Don't mix Excel and Excel Online in own flow. I have reproduced the error 423 when using Excel.

I had no issues with the online connectors for Excel. Also when using the flow, see that the Excel file isn't open.

 

I hope this can help you.

 

Regards,

 

Frederik Bisback

 

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