Error: “File is locked by another user. Would you like to open a read-only copy of this file?” | Revu 2017 & below


You’re receiving a message when attempting to open a PDF file that says:

Error Opening File: “File is locked by another. Would you like to open a read-only copy of this file?”


This happens when Windows doesn’t have a native PDF viewer for displaying files in the preview pane. Instead, Windows uses a third-party PDF viewer to mark the file as locked, or in use.

Solution 1: Change the default PDF viewer

Revu 9.5 and above includes a Bluebeam “previewer” for Windows Explorer that doesn’t mark files as being “in use”.

Revu 9 users running version 9.0 to 9.2.1 can download and install this free update from our Downloads & Updates page.

Once you’ve confirmed that Revu 9.5 or above is installed, you can set Bluebeam as the default PDF viewer by following the steps listed below:

  1. Open Revu.
  2. Click Help > Administrator.
  3. Click the Revu tab in the Administrator.
  4. Click the Use as default PDF viewer check box.
  5. Click OK.

Solution 2: Edit your Revu preferences

You can also prevent this message from appearing by turning it off in the Revu Preferences as described below.

Depending on your version of Revu:

  1. Click Edit > Preferences, or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+K.
    A list of Revu keyboard shortcuts is available in the Revu Help menu and on our website.
  2. Click Document on the left.
  3. Clear checkbox for Prompt user if file is locked.
  4. Click OK to save the setting and close Preferences.

You won’t be able to save a file if it’s marked as “in use by” in the Adobe previewer. An error will appear saying, “The document could not be published. The process cannot access the file because it is in use by another process.”

To get around this, you’ll need to select a different file in Windows Explorer to preview the file, and then try saving the document you were originally working with.

A Note about Files Stored on a Server

If this error appears when trying to open a file that’s stored on a server, it’s quite possible that someone else may actually have the document open. Another thing to consider is that some network processes, such as backup or synchronization utilities, may also mark files as “in use”.

Learn what you can do if an error message appears when a PDF is opened reporting that the file is “locked by another user.”

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