How To Fix Access Database Could Not Lock File Error?

Fix Access Database Could Not Lock File Error

Receiving “could not lock file error” in Access database each time when you try to open it?

Well, there are some tried and tested solutions available to fix Access database error could not lock file. If you want to know what those fixes are then just go through this complete post.

Before directly jumping into the fixes of Access database error could not lock file. Have a look over the situation under which users are getting this specific Access could not lock file error.

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User Queries:

Many users are frequently asking for the solution to fix this Access database could not lock file error. Let’s have a look over one such user query:

I need some help on a Shared Access database. As I am getting the error Could Not lock file while opening the database. I have gone through multiple discussions and only answer i could find is to check the permissions to the folder.

All the user who are using this database have all required permissions. (Read, Write, Edit, Delete).

Issue i am finding is,

If i open the database, it opens properly and when next person opens it it is also opening smoothly. But, Now when i close the file and open it back while other user has it open, i am getting this error.

Please help me resolve this issue.


Error Information

Software: Microsoft Access

Error name: Microsoft Access Error Could not lock file

Description: Could not lock file
Error code: Error 3050

How To Fix MS Access Could Not Lock File Error?

Let’s know what fixes you can try to resolve MS Access Could Not Lock File Error.

1: Delete Lock File

MS Access lock files (ldb) are one such temporary file that gets created each time with the creation of a new file in the Access database. It automatically gets deleted by itself when you close your MS Access database program.

But sometimes they don’t get deleted by themselves and this raises problems like Access could not lock file.


When these stubborn Access lock files won’t get deleted by itself then you need to delete it manually.

For this, you have to search this MS Access locking files in your entire hard drive. You can easily recognize it as they have .idb extension.

In the search criteria type *.ldb and delete all the .ldb file you get. This will surely fix MS Access could not lock file error.

2: Prevent Opening Of Access Database In Exclusive Mode:

Another very obvious reason behind this Access database could not lock file error is that your database is opened in exclusive mode.

Chances are high that some other user has opened your database in exclusive mode and making modifications like as modules editing.


Close your Access database completely and once again open it normally without choosing the exclusive mode option.

HELPFUL ARTICLE: Fixes To Resolve Access Error “You Don’t Have Exclusive Access To The Database At This Time”…..!

3: Convert Old Access 97 Version Of The MDW File To New

Note: This solution is applicable to MDB files, not the ADP or the ACCDB files.

If your Access database is not opened exclusively then another reason behind this Access could not lock file error can be:

  1. If in case the two instances of MS Access (DAO database engine) are using diverse system MDW files then this will create confliction.

In this situation, the database starts appearing exclusively locked by some other instance.

  1. MDW file, which is used by your MS Access instances, can easily be checked in the VBA codes by checking the DBEngine.SystemDB value.

Copy of MS Access or DAO may have opened your database using another MDW file and thus this causes the conflict. This issue may be raised in the MS Access instance, VBA Add-in, MS Access add-in, or library reference. Or with some other application program like VB6, .NET, etc. which is being connected with the database.


To avoid such a situation, ensure that your entire MS Access instance is pointing to the same MDW file mainly if you are using the workgroup security.

It is also defined within the shortcut used for launching MS Access.

Or when you are trying to open the Access database programmatically, within the VBA code.

Convert Old Access 97 Version of the MDW File

If you are using Access 2000 or its later version, then chances are high that you are still using the MDW file in Access older version. This generates Access database error could not lock file.

As we all know Access 2000 has come up with a new file format i.e MDB.

You can say “MDW” is an older Access database file format just like the latest Access database (mdb or accdb) file format.

Even though the latest Access database version can also open the older Access 97 database version files. But for this you need to convert them, here are the steps that you need to be followed:

  • Create a complete backup of the MDW file that you have.
  • Now try opening the MDW database in your Access application.
  • If your MS Access file is in Access 97 format then your Access application will ask you for converting this to the latest MDB file format.
  • After making the conversion, now you can freely use your new MDW just like the workgroup security file.

Bonus Tips To Resolve Access Database Error Could Not Lock File.

Other than the above-mentioned fixes you can try some more tricks to fix Access could not lock file error.

  • Split your Access database into front-end and Back-end.
  • Instead of MDB distribute your Access database Front-end MDE
  • Deploy only the Front-end application into all your users local PC
  • Don’t run the update queries on those records in which users are already doing editing.
  • Don’t let the binding data entry forms within the multi-table query.
  • Redesign the tables for reducing its records size (mainly the OLE and the Memo fields).

Wrap Up:

If you strictly follow all the guidelines I have mentioned in this post then you can easily fix off this Access database could not lock file error?

So try the fixes and do share your experiences with us, whether the problem has been resolved or not.

Even if you are dealing with any other error and issue in your Access database then ask it in Repair MS Access social Facebook and Twitter account.

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Pearson Willey is a website content writer and long-form content planner. Besides this, he is also an avid reader. Thus he knows very well how to write an engaging content for readers. Writing is like a growing edge for him. He loves exploring his knowledge on MS Access & sharing tech blogs.