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Unlocking a Word file

I have a FLOW that changes properties on Word files in a document library.  Often the files are locked becuase:


1. A user has kept Word running and has fogotten to close the file

2. Word has not shutdown properly on someone's machine and the file remains locked.

3. Someone was editing the file using Word Online and has not closed the browser session.


In all of these cases a FLOW that is trying to change the values of metadata on a file will fail the step and move on.  I do know how to catch the failure and report it to a user.  I would like to side step this process and unloick the file.  Is there a way to do this?

Super User
Super User

Re: Unlocking a Word file

Hi @mmeth-editas unfortunately most of these scenarios result in not being able to do anything unless the Word document has been closed. Generally locks remain in place (certainly in the Word Online scenario) for 10 minutes before timing out and releasing the file, so could perhaps build in a "retry" after 15 minutes if your Flow has failed.

I'll have a dig around and see if there's anything that can be done about locking in the other two scenarios, but I'm surprised that you're having the issue unless a file has actually been checked out.


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Community Support Team
Community Support Team

Re: Unlocking a Word file

Hi @mmeth-editas ,


The issue you mentioned could be reproduced by me. When the file is open, Update file properties action turned failed.


I have figured out the following workaround for your scenario, please check it for a reference.


After the first Update file properties action, add a Scope to run after when it has failed.


Within the scope, get file properties, then send an email to last user who modified the file to close the file.


After the scope, add a Delay action to wait for several minutes for the user to close the file, then update the file properties again.



Best regards,



Community Support Team _ Mabel Mao
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

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