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Can we have an option to lock files we're working on to avoid conflicted copies?

Can we have an option to lock files we're working on to avoid conflicted copies?

Angie O.
New member | Level 1

My business partner and I (often working from different locations) are constantly working on the same documents and trying to save our work at the same time. Result: lots of conflicted copies of files. I would love to have something in the Dropbox UI that allows us to see if another person is working on the file or has the file open. It would save us a lot of FLAME texting. We love each other but this is one thing that makes us want to kill each other.

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Dropbox Staff

This idea has been closed as it has reached the end of the Share an Idea process.

You can find out more about this feature here and get support or provide feedback in Help from the Community.


Thank you for your suggestion, and if you have another idea to share, please do!

Status changed to: Closed
Super User

If you are using Microsoft Office, Dropbox has a built in "badge" integrated with Office that notifies if multiple people are trying to edit the same file concurrently. For other files though, Dropbox does not support this. However, if a conflict occurs, Dropbox will create a "Conflicted Copy" instead of overwriting one of the versions.

Explorer | Level 4

Thanks Nate, I had noticed the badge would pop up every now and again - but sometimes it doenst show up when others are in the file.


Keeping the file locked while another user was in it would be a nice feature.

New member | Level 2

There seem to be a few good reasons this can't be detected automatically, but wouldn't a good workable compromise be to allow people manually "lock" and "unlock" a file?  I would find that immensely useful.

Super User II

But again, as has been said, thats not easily doable. 

Every file is personal and different. It is a totally and utterly different set up to the way a network works. 

New member | Level 2

Not entirely certain I understand inner working of Dropbox client, but this is the feature that is both necessary and possible to develop.

It could be turned off on per-folder basis by admin so to save network bandwidth if required.

Offline file access for modification should be prohibited IMHO and user should be given option to save under different filename if they need to modify so they are aware of changes, but again option should be given to enforce it or not.

Imagine two users changing 100 cells each in excel sheet simultaneously that gets doubled as result. Who will compare and merge data? Users, Company IT or Dropbox support? 🙂


Brian B.39
Helpful | Level 7


This thread is about file locking. If someone is offline and modifying files while someone else has it locked, the conflicted copy mechanism will resave the offline uses file as a conflicted copy, yes?

You guys are over complicating this.

New member | Level 2

I agree. It's not a true check-in/check-out feature. Sad. 😞

New member | Level 2

Is it possible to share a folder with a coworker, but lock one file within that folder so that it cannot be opened or downloaded, and the user cannot email it to themselves?

Dropbox Staff
Hey @Erin_C, as you've mentioned that you'd like to limit the visibility for shared content, kindly note that you should be able to do that on the folder level by modifying your shared link controls (depending on your plan- i.e. you can add a password, set an expiration date & disable downloads), that would be helpful in case you’d like to adjust access to sensitive material. From there, it would be worth noting that this shouldn't affect any device-specific settings, however it may help you accomplish what you have in mind to a certain extent.
Let me know how my advice works for you & I’ll follow-up with you a bit more closely on this discussion. Thanks for reaching out to us on our Community & enjoy the rest of your day until we talk again! 
Dropbox Staff

Hi All!

I just merged several threads under this discussion as they seemed to be related so this is a heads up not to get confused while reading through the posts up to the last page. 

I'm happy to let you know that we're currently in the process of rolling out our 'File Locking' feature.

File locking is a feature available to Dropbox Business users that prevents a file from being edited which allows teams and collaborators to coordinate who is editing a file and avoid conflicted copies

Keep your awesome ideas coming people!

Status changed to: Delivered
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