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Windows Preview Pane locks files for extended period

Karla Marsh


  • WAFS, all versions


On a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, you may see a “File in use” or “File_name is locked for editing by user_name” message when opening a Microsoft Office document (e.g., Excel or Word file) in a remote shared folder in Windows Explorer that used the Details view and the Preview Pane layout. This is caused by Windows holding a lock on the files for longer than normal, which is behavior associated with the Details view and Preview Pane layout. Per Microsoft Support, the cause of this issue is a sharing violation that happens between the operating system and the Office application over a network resource.


On desktops accessing the files on a remote shared folder, modify the following settings to disable the Windows functions that cause this behavior:

Windows Explorer:

  1. Click one of the following: Tools > Folder Options > View or Organize >Folder and search options.
    • Clear Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items.
    • Clear Show preview handlers in preview pane.
  2. Click Organize -> Layout.
    • Clear Details Pane.
    • Clear Preview Pane.

In Office 2010:

  1. Go to File > Options > Trust center > Trust Center settings.
  2. Clear Protected View.
  3. Click OK.

In Office 2010/2013:

  1. Go to File > Options > Trust center > Trust Center settings > Trusted Locations.
  2. Place a check next to Allow Trusted Locations on my network as shown below.
  3. Click OK.



Windows Vista: A HotFix is available from Microsoft Support at

Windows 7: Add the following registry keys to the computer(s) accessing the document:


@="Microsoft Office Metadata Handler"




@="Microsoft Office Metadata Handler"


To prevent Windows 7 preview functions from causing documents to open read-only, create the following registry entries:

The attached ZIP file contains a separate REG file for each of the registry entries below. If you can't download the attachment, copy and paste the text below into a text file and save it as one REG file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00







The attached ZIP files contain the registry entries in REG files:

  • Turn Off Preview Functions in Windows contains only the last four "read-only" entries above in 4 separate REG files.
  • contains each of the entries above ("read-only" plus Details/Preview pane entries) in one REG file.
Last Modified: 8 Years Ago
Last Modified By: lgarcia
Type: FIX
Rated 2 stars based on 87 votes.
Article has been viewed 184K times.
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