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Disable File Locking in Acrobat (Windows)

Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2017

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One of the most frustrating issues I have with Acrobat is that it always locks files it opens, even if I am only viewing (not editing).  Is there a way to disable file locking?  If not, it would be extremely helpful if Acrobat only locked files when in  "edit" mode or not at all.

The situation frequently arises where an application is outputting PDFs, the PDFs open automatically in Acrobat, but if we want to overwrite a file, we have to close it in Acrobat first. Working between applications, this locking can be very confusing for users.  Most PC applications do not lock files in this way - it is up to the user.

Thanks!

-Donald Newlands

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Disable File Locking in Acrobat (Windows)

Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2017

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One of the most frustrating issues I have with Acrobat is that it always locks files it opens, even if I am only viewing (not editing).  Is there a way to disable file locking?  If not, it would be extremely helpful if Acrobat only locked files when in  "edit" mode or not at all.

The situation frequently arises where an application is outputting PDFs, the PDFs open automatically in Acrobat, but if we want to overwrite a file, we have to close it in Acrobat first. Working between applications, this locking can be very confusing for users.  Most PC applications do not lock files in this way - it is up to the user.

Thanks!

-Donald Newlands

TOPICS
General troubleshooting

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1.3K

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Aug 17, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 17, 2017

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No, there is no way to disable such file locking. And for good reason ...

It isn't just a matter of whether Acrobat is editing the file or not. Acrobat doesn't read the entire file into memory at one time; PDF files can literally be gigabytes in size! If the file wasn't locked and it was deleted or changed while the file was open, you would end up with a situation in which Acrobat would not be able to count on the integrity of what it was reading (or unable to read) from disk. The alternative would have been for Acrobat to make a complete temporary directory of every file that it opens. That would be time and disk consuming.

Quite frankly, I'd be very wary of any applications that allow files that it currently has opened to be modified or deleted behind its back.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Aug 17, 2017 1
Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2017

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Dov,

Thanks for your reply, but I disagree. 

As long as the file is not being edited, there is absolutely no technical need for Acrobat to lock it. I would rather have an error that the file has been deleted or modified and needs to be reloaded than a nanny file lock that prevents my applications from working together.

-Donald

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Aug 17, 2017 1
New Here ,
Sep 27, 2019

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Not to mention that Acrobat refuses to let go in a timely fashion. Not only this, but acrobat should NEVER lock a file just to create a thumbnail. Light touch only! if you're making a thumbnail and lose access to the file, so what, fail gracefully. Instead what happens? I get "file is in use and cannot be moved at this time" why? because I touched the file to select it to move it! this is just poor developer behavior! not impressed and this has been a problem for over a decade!

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Sep 27, 2019 0
New Here ,
Oct 08, 2020

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I have to reboot my PC to be able to rename/move/delete a PDF file. It's ruined my workflow. I even tried to change PDF to open with MS Word and Acrobat still locks the file. The company I work for pays to license the full Adobe Creative Suite. Can you please advise a workaround for this problem?

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Oct 08, 2020 0
harikari LATEST
New Here ,
Oct 08, 2020

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I have to reboot my PC to be able to rename/move/delete a PDF file. It's ruined my  workflow. I even tried to change PDF to open with MS Word and Acrobat still locks the file. The company I work for pays to license the  full Adobe Creative Suite. Can you please advise a workaround for this problem?

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Oct 08, 2020 0