How to lock or unlock a Dropbox file
This feature is available for customers on Dropbox Professional, Education, Essentials, Standard, Business, Advanced, Business Plus, and Enterprise.
File locking is a feature that prevents a file from being edited. This allows teams and collaborators to coordinate who is editing a file and avoid conflicted copies.
What happens when you lock a file?
If a file is locked, those who have access to the file will still be able to view, comment on, and share a link to the file. However, only the person who has locked the file or team admins will be able to unlock it.
How to edit a locked file
If you need to edit a locked file, you can request that the file be unlocked by clicking Ask to Unlock in the window that appears when you attempt to open the file. Or, you can make a copy of the locked file—however, any changes made to the copy won’t be reflected in the original file when it’s unlocked.
Note: Only files in shared folders can be locked.
Unlock a team member’s file
Team admins can unlock a team member's file. To do so:
- Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
- Click Admin console.
- Click Content.
- Click Locked files.
- Hover over a file and click “…” (ellipsis).
- To unlock multiple files at once, click the checkbox next to each file you’d like to unlock.
- Click Unlock files.
- Select whether you’d like to notify the user who originally locked the file.
- By default, the user who originally locked the file will receive an email notification that their file has been unlocked.
- If you don’t want to notify the original user who locked the file, uncheck the checkbox next to Notify user that file has been unlocked or Notify locker(s).
- Click Confirm.
Disable file locking
Team admins can turn off file locking for their team by default.
Note: Files that were locked before the file locking feature is disabled will remain locked. To unlock a specific team member's file, follow the instructions above.
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