Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Who Has the File Open?.

Who Has the File Open?

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2020)

2

Joe asked if there is a way to determine, in a macro, who has a particular workbook open. He thought about using the WriteReservedBy property, but it doesn't seem to have the information he needs.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine this information from VBA—it just isn't accessible. The WriteReservedBy property doesn't show who has a file open; it shows who saved the workbook using a password. In other words, when someone saves a workbook with the option to have a password to modify it, the file is "WriteReserved." The WriteReservedBy property contains the name of the person that saved the file in the WriteReserved state.

If you only need to know the answer (about who has the file open) periodically, it is easiest to gather a list of the open file names, and ask the network admin to tell you who has them open—such information is maintained on the network and accessible to the admin.

Another potential solution is to add an AutoOpen macro to each workbook that writes a temporary file to disk that contains the name of the person opening the file. The macro would need to not only open the temporary file, but handle error conditions, such as a temporary file that is already open. The temporary file could then be accessed by other macros to see the name that it contains.

The macro found at the following site may provide another solution to finding out who has a particular workbook open:

https://bizintelsolutions.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/who-is-in-excel-xlsx-file/

An additional place that may hold an answer is the VBNet site. The article at this page contains code that may be adaptable for the desired information:

http://vbnet.mvps.org/index.html?code/network/netfileenum.htm

Note that the code works only in older versions of Windows. It should work just fine in versions up through Windows 7, but tread softly when it comes to later versions—you'll want to test it fully to ensure it works in your environment.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9511) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Who Has the File Open?.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is one minus 1?

2021-03-14 23:44:42

Tomek

It used to be that both Excel and Word created temporary files for every file open. These temporary files were hidden and were removed when the file was closed. they were created in the same directory where the open document resided. Their names were based on the original-document name but started with ~$ with some variations depending on whether it was Excel or Word file. These lock-files contained information on who had the document open, which could be read when the the lock-file was opened with a plain text editor like Notepad. However, this is no longer the case for files posted to OneDrive or SharePoint. It still seems to still work however for documents from local hard drive and on shared network drives.

Similar lock files are also created by Access.


2020-09-05 05:49:04

Ron S MVP

If you are using an Office file on a corporate network, when you try to open a file that someone else has opened you should see a message with their user name. But in many corporate installations the appropriate setting has not been personalized, so you see a generic ID that is the same for everyone. Very annoying.


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