Box: Lock and Unlock Files for Editing

Locking/Unlocking Files

If you are working on a file with other collaborators, be sure to lock files before opening them with Box Edit. This will prevent other users from making changes to documents that you are working on until you unlock the file. Locking files is not currently supported on our mobile applications.

Note: When you lock a file, it will show a lock icon, but you will still be able to edit it. When someone else locks a file, you will see a different lock icon, and you will not be able to modify the file unless you unlock it.

From the Web Application

To lock a file from the Box webapp:

  • Right-click a file (or click the ellipses (...)) to open the More Options menu.
  • Click Lock
  • Choose a duration for the lock. If you choose unlimited, the file will be locked until you unlock it manually. You can also choose to prevent users from downloading the file while you are editing it.
  • A lock icon to the left of the file's name will indicate that the file has been locked. 

To unlock a file from the Box webapp:

  • Right-click a file (or click the ellipses (...)) to open the More Options menu.
  • Click Unlock

From Box Edit

To lock a file from Box Edit/Tools:

  • Click Open with ...
  • A prompt will pop up stating that Box is launching your file within the native application chosen.
  • Choose the blue text "Lock file to prevent others from editing it".
    • Select the dropdown next to duration in order to choose how long to lock the content.
    • You can also choose Disable Download 

From Box for Office

  • In Office, if you open a document via Box for Office, the content will be opened and Locked automatically.
  • Once you select which content you would like to open:
    • On the Home tab you will see in the upper right hand corner an icon which lists "Locked" upon opening the content. 
  • When the content you have opened to edit is closed, the content will no longer be locked.

From Box Drive

To lock a file from Box Drive, please follow the steps below. If you do not see the option to lock the file, make sure you are on the most recent version of Box Drive:

  1. Locate the file you would like to lock in your Box Drive folder structure.
  2. Right-click on the file.
  3. In the menu that appears, select Lock File.
  4. To unlock, right-click the file and select Unlock File.

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