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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

I have a similar problem.

My scenario was super simple:

 

  1. Blank excel with a table inside.
  2. Populate that excel with insert row action (excel online) (ok)
  3. Create a new file with content from excel step 2 with a new name and differente location. (ok)
    1. Had to delay flow for 1 minute before allowing him to move next step
  4. Overwritte the original blank file (Step 1) with a blank excel file with a table. 
Spoiler
Error. File blocked by myself. 

Tried a differente approach by replacing the original file at the begining of the process but now the file is blocked.,

 

I do think Flow engineers should take a more serious approach on excel connectors, since they released a preview with a bunch of mistakes and i do mean mistakes instead of Beta testing. For instance if you try to create a file from a excel file filled by inser rows you need to delay the flow, otherwise you will get a trunced version of the file. Just as an example, but there's more.

 

I've been building a flow using excel connector for a week and its a completely nightmare. 

Dear, you need to use Excel for business. for example:
User Get Rows (Excel for Business), using this will not lock the file and after getting the rows you are not able to add or change fields in the Excel file.
You can find an example on my blog: https://blog.pronict.net/2018/12/06/ms-flow-05-buttons-excel-approvals-and-notifications/
Regards,

Frederik Bisback
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Frederik,

 

Thanks for your input.  The problem is that Get Rows does not support excel files with formulas. Thanks again for your input.

Sigh. I'm getting this problem too.. the retry mechanism in the Settings for the Excel Insert Row operation looked perfect.. but they don't work with this particular error. I've raised an Idea will will hopefully get some traction for getting it fixed/working with the table locked error.

 

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/Excel-retry-options-should-work-with-file-locked-erro...

Hi all

I'm experiencing the same problem. There are many threads on this topic and varying suggestions

I have a Flow that takes an Excel spreadsheet from an email attachment and copies it to a folder on SharePoint.

That file is used for a Power BI dataset so the Flow also jumps into the file and creates a table using the Create Table - Excel Online (Business) step. This is so Power BI can see the data table.

 

  • This is the only flow referencing this document
  • There is no other users accessing the file except the one running the flow.
  • I'm using the Excel Online (Business) connectors with SharePoint (I also tried the non-business connectors and OneDrive and had the same issue)
  • The flow runs every 45 minutes
  • The Flow fails at the SharePoint Create Item step

A few days ago it was running and succedding 1 out of 3 times. The other two would fail with Error 423.

Currently the Flow is failing every time with 423 and the file has been locked for over 24 hours. I even removed the folder permissions in SharePoint for the account that runs the flow and SharePoint/Flow still thinks it has it open.

 

I also tried being clever and made the Flow create a new file each time with a stripped down UtcNow() expression as a prefix. Unfortunately the Excel connectors make you select a file using the file picker and you can't use a dynamic path which would include the prefix.

 

Has anyone had any luck with the 423 error?

 

A few other reference threads

Retry-settings-for-Excel-operations-blocked-by-423-file-locked

File-Locked-Condition

Getting-error-The-file-is-locked-for-shared-use-by-when-updating

I have the same issue as the original poster.  Others have added in issues with Excel (online) and locked files.

 

I have tried to use an email trigger to Update File Contents, but file is usually locked, when email arrives every 24 hours.  I have tried to use a File Created in Sharepoint Folder, when users upload to sharepoint rather than emailing. However the file is usually locked when they upload every day.

 

I believe the issue is with Flow not closing the connection with a file, even after a flow has completed.  Yet even when I create a file and use it for the first time, in testing, it is still locked before first use.

The same problem here:

The file is created by flow, not opened by anyone.

 
  "errors": [
    "-2147018894",
    "Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFileLockException"
  ]
 
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi All,

I don't know if that is the solution, but at least I had that problem "423". At first I had the file only "on-line" in SharePoint and also I tried on OneDrive. But those folders wasn't sync with my PC. 

I tried in one SharePoint Folder sync with my computer and the same Flow works, then I sync the folder where it was the original file and works too.

Hope help you.

Did anyone ever come up with a proper solution for this? 

 

I'm running into a similar problem where I need to refresh a Power BI dataset (which is a published Excel workbook), however; the refresh keeps failing because it says the workbook is open.  This happens even though the Power BI dataset refresh is one of the first steps to run, and I have a 5 minute delay after it.  It's almost like the Flow is pre-staging the lock on the file or maybe it's failing to close the file when it completes.  

Microsoft?? Heeeellllooooo?  Are you out there??? It's now 2020 and this issue is still plaguing (sorry, no COVID reference intended) users.  I can't create a table using the Excel Business Connector without a 75% chance that file gets locked for WEEKS.  I've seen posts that suggest the file will unlock after an hour.....simply not true.  And please MS community manager - don't suggest to us articles that talk about how to close a file, etc.  In my instance - my flow creates the file - NO ONE EVER OPENS THIS FILE - and Flow creates the table - NO ONE EVER OPENS THE FILE - and flow then LOCKS THE FILE with a 423 error.  Guess who is locked it?  ME.  Insert Obi-Wan meme (Of course I know him, he's me).  At this stage - even adding new files and trying to use those in the flow fails immediately. Zero workarounds.  We desperately need a real answer here.  Not a link to an article written 5 years ago about how to close a file or make sure no one has the file open when running your flow.....

 

flowFail.png

 

Hi Guys, 

 

After, i don't recall how much time since the first post, i still have the problem with the "locked file."

It's frustrating that no one looks into it. PLEASE MS !!!

 

I was creating a new Flow hopping MS already solved the problem.

My scenario was::

 

I Have 2 excel files:

XXXX Blank.xlsx

XXXX.xlsx

 

I was able to:

  1. Excel Add Row into a table XXXX.xlsx (The file needs to be there already, otherwise it wont work)
  2. Sharepoint get file content XXXX.xlsx
  3. Sharepoint Create new file in a different location
  4. Sharepoint get file content XXXX Blank.xlsx
  5. Sharepoint Create new file XXXX.xlsx (To clean the table) ERROR Locked file.

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

@JBHorne 

This is not limited to 256, if you are still having this issue IM me and I will send you the fix.

I have the same problem,

 

I have a test excel file, this file only have a table, I update the table with  flow and work fine but when  I try execute the flow for second time the flow fail with 423 file locked. I try too to extract before and insert post update the excel but continue fail.

 

 

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

  Hi,

 

I have found a work around to this and other systems "locking" files.

 

1. Init Var I called it "locked" Set to True.

2 Create do until

             3.   Attempt file action.

             Split into parallel flows

                       If successful set VAR above to "False"

                       If not then do a delay for 1 minute (Or whatever)

 

The result can be a flow running for  awhile, but it wont do the annoying fail.

 

HTH

 

Mark

 

 

                   

 

Hello,

 

Thanks for your answer, how can I know if the control if succesful?,

 

I have done the next;

init the var with false value and then update the file properties in a while control, after update the file properties step I split the flow in two, a delay for a 1minute and set variable to true.

 

Thanks you.

 

Hello  @Anonymous 

 

I tray again with on error event for delay path  and work fine. 👍

 

thanks 

 

 

Uttam
Frequent Visitor

I was facing similar issue for a simple email trigger with link to Excel file uploaded to a SharePoint library. On clicking the link, the file opened in Excel, but there were 2 extra message bars - one stating file is locked for editing and read only and other stating there is a new version of file on the server - and both message bars asking to save a local copy to save changes.

 

I faced this issue with the trigger "When a file is created (properties only)", there was on old flow using trigger "When a file is created" that was running fine.

 

I was trying to fix the new flow only as I had created several copies linked to several folders, and realized the issue later.

What worked for me is ... in the SharePoint library where the file was being uploaded, under Settings>Versioning settings, I enabled "required check out for editing". After that the two message bars are not coming anymore on opening the file.

 

It seems the flow is opening the file and closing, and without check out enforcement, this is causing a newer version to be created in SharePoint and leaving the original version locked..leading to the message bars in Excel.

shazufaraz
Frequent Visitor

I found one way to eliminate the issue of file being locked.

 

Background: I have an Excel file in a SharePoint Library. Using this file, I need to update a SharePoint List in the same site. Once the data is added, the file must be moved to Archived folder in the same library. For testing, I did not include the part of adding the rows to SharePoint list.

 

Assumptions: My file has only one worksheet with one Table. For multiple sheets, you will have to to either use Condition or loop through each.

Flow: 

1. Get Files

2. Apply to each

2a. Check out file (using ID from step 1)

2b. Get Tables (using File Full Path from step 1)

2c. List rows present in a table (using File from step 1 and Table from step 2b)

2d. Check in File (using ID from step 1)

2e. Move file

 

File to SharePoint 1.PNG

 

File to SharePoint 2 - Get Files.PNG

 

File to SharePoint 3 - Check Out File.PNG

 

File to SharePoint 4 - Get Tables.PNG

 

File to SharePoint 5 - List rows in Table.PNG

 

File to SharePoint 6 - Check in and Move.PNG

 

Hi @shazufaraz, how do you check out the file? If I have a folder "Working" in Sharepoint document folder what should I put in the libary name ? I tried to put "Shared Document/Working" but I keep getting an error "List not found". Please advise. Thanks in advance.

 

In Check out action,

1. select 'Location' as your site location (from the dropdown) 

2. 'Library Name' as Shared Document

3. 'ID' (from Get Files (properties only) action)

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