In my article Which Program Has Locked My File?, I wrote about a utility that I use to help identify and solve the problem when Windows refuses to let me change a file. Last week, the following week, I had feedback and alternatives from two readers.
Both Clif and Dan wrote to recommend a utility called Unlocker. I downloaded Unlocker and tried it. Here’s what I found…
The installation process went smoothly, and Unlocker worked immediately without rebooting my computer.
For testing, first I copied a Word document to make sure I didn’t damage my original. Then, I opened the copy in Microsoft Word.
Then, using Windows Explorer, I selected the Word document’s file and tried to rename it. Windows advised me that it was in use and I needed to close the file in order to rename it.
I didn’t even need to select Unlocker. As soon as I acknowledged the Windows warning message, the Unlocker window opened.
I unlocked the file and changed the file name successfully, even without closing Microsoft Word. But, that’s where I ran into a problem!
Microsoft Word still retained the original file name for the file, as we would expect. However, if I clicked on the Save icon to save the file, it appeared that Word was saving it — but it did not.
I could successfully save the file by using the Save As icon or menu bar choice, just not by using the Save icon.
Don’t have a Save As icon in Microsoft Word (or Excel or Powerpoint)? Read how in my article HOWTO: Adding a SaveAs Button to Word, Excel and/or PowerPoint
You can get Unlocker from the author’s web site http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker .