Excel File Reservation Read Only Problem

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Yardley, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Yardley macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010
    Hi all, I'm getting a prompt when trying to open some Excel files on my local hard drive that says "File Reservation, file name is being modified by another user. Open as read-only, or choose notify to be alerted when it is available." See image below.


    The folder where the files reside is being shared with another computer. I have tried restarting both computers and also leaving the other computer off, but the message still comes up. I made sure I have read/write permissions and also tried repairing permissions with disk utility but that didn't work. I also tried making a copy of the file, and the copy had the same issues.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
  2. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina
    Did you open as read only and then save it under a different name?

    Also try to save it as a earlier excel format.
  3. Yardley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010

    No, I'll have to try that. If that works what then? Is there something I can do to fix all of the files with this problem or would I have to save each one with a new name? Thanks
  4. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina

    Each file unless you do the following;

    By any chance did you us "command I' (for Info)on the folder that holds the file(s) and insure you have read/write priviledges? And then did you click the drop down file under the little 'wheel' at the bottom and choose "Apply To Enclosed Items'? Then click Apply.

    BTW You can only execute the commands when you have 'Administrator Rights'.
    Otherwise they won't take.
  5. 1foolish1 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    I found that using a / in the file name results in the file being saved as read-only. I saved a file titled A/C Filters.xlxs which saved as read-only. This issue lead me to this forum. After I removed the / from A/C Filters (AC Filters.xlxs) the file saved as a working workbook.

    I noticed from your screen shot that you included a / in your file name. Try omitting the /.
  6. mrtrsharp macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    You are exactly right! the "/" sign is the culprit

    Thank you so much for that posting - I had the exact same problem as the original poster, and copying or saving as new name, etc. wasn't working. It is the "/" in my title, and as soon as I took that away, it opens up perfectly normal. I'd be curious to know why this glitch occurs?

    But Thanks for solving an annoyance. I just wouldn't have ever thought it was in my name, and was looking all around for permissions and multiple users, etc. So Simple....
  7. 7gav2 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2012
    Wow, wish I had know this for the past 2 years! What a simple solution; and I might add that dashes in the title of a doc also creates the same 'read-only' problem. Thanks for posting.
  8. Iviking2 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2009
    solution not correct

    I think this solution must be an accident.
    I've had this problem with a few files which now cannot be accessed from another machine because it thinks someone else is currently modifying it. I've removed all non alphabet characters (/ - _ ) and the problem remains. 10.6.8 machine trying to access a .xls file stored on a 10.8.2 iMac.
    I've checked permissions are ok.
    Only workround is to save as a new file on the client machine, but as it's a file a number of us work on it's not a viable solution.
  9. zgoalieman macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    Excel File Reservation Read Only Problem

    If you open Terminal and go to the folder where the file is located, enter "ls -la" and you'll see that there is a file with the same filename preceded by a tilda and dollar sign"~$". Delete that file and your problem is solved.

    Use the following: rm "~\$filename" to delete the file.
  10. WayneH1 macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    Brilliant!! I looked everywhere for the solution to this and this is the only definitive cure I've found. Some have had success with renaming files to eliminate slashes, but my files have simple names to begin with.

    Background: After Migration Assistant moved all my files onto my shiny new Macbook Pro, I got the read-only warning dialog when trying to open most (but not all) of my Excel 2011 .xlsx files.

    In Finder's Get Info panel, I tried everything but I was already listed as having Read-Write access. Changing the extension from .xlsx to .xls allowed the file to open normally and was a quick, imperfect fix. Strange, but that isolated the problem to Excel itself. Trashing Excel preferences .plist did not make a difference.

    In Excel, there was no indication that a password or read-only restriction had been applied or could be changed. The exception was at File:properties:General, where the Read-only box was ticked but greyed out so it could not be changed.

    I was flummoxed until I found the post above. Using Terminal to list and then delete the "~" files solved the problem completely. I suppose making hidden files visible would allow the bogus files to be trashed from the Finder, but I haven't tried that.
  11. WayneH1 macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I just discovered another very easy fix that doesn't require Terminal:

    1. Move the files you want to keep, including the Excel files you cannot open, into a new folder.

    2. This leaves the "~" files behind and thereby allows the spreadsheet to open normally in their new location. Check to confirm that your Excel files now open normally.

    3. Delete the old, apparently empty folder containing the hidden "~" files.
  12. sgasch01 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    Excel File Reservation Read Only Problem

    Thanks for the solution to find and remove the files with ~ in front. I have faced this problem for a while, but never looked it up on the net.

    Shirley Gasch
  13. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Thanks! This solved the same issue I had with Excel 2008.

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