Error: “File is locked by another user. Would you like to open a read-only copy of this file?” | Revu 2019


When attempting to open a PDF file, an error says:

Error Opening File: “File is locked by another user. 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 includes a PDF previewer for Windows® Explorer that doesn’t mark files as in use. The PDF previewer is activated when Revu is set as the default PDF viewer in Windows.

  1. Open Revu.
  2. Click Revu > Preferences (Ctrl+K).
  3. Select Admin from the left-hand menu.
  4. Click Open Default Programs.
  5. When the Set Associations window displays, complete these additional steps:
    1. Scroll through the list of file types until you reach .pdf, and double-click that file type.
    2. Select Bluebeam Revu from the list of programs.
    3. Click Ok and close the Set Associations window.

Solution 2: Edit your Revu preferences

You can also edit your Revu Preferences, as described below:

  1. Go to Revu > Preferences (Ctrl+K).
  2. Click Document on the top of the window.
  3. Clear the checkbox for Prompt user if file is locked.
  4. Click OK to save the setting and close Preferences.

If you are previewing the file within the Windows preview pane, you may not be able to save it in Revu. You may see this error: “The document could not be published. The process cannot access the file because it is in use by another process.”

You can select a different file in Windows Explorer, or close Explorer, and then try saving the document you were originally working with.

Files stored on a server

If this error appears when opening a file stored on a server, it’s possible that another user has the same document open. 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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