The Universal File Opener (UFO) is a Google Chrome extension. It enhances the Google Drive interface by allowing you to:
- open non-Google files locally on your computer using the corresponding software
- save the changes you made locally back to Google Drive
This article explains how to manage locked and cached files with UFO.
|View your locked and cached files|
|Manage your cached files|
|Unlock files manually|
|Automatic lock expiration|
|Access files offline|
When you open a file locally with UFO, it is locked by you. Nobody else can edit a file you have locked.
- The file is locked for one hour.
- Saving your file in your local software extends the lock by an additional hour.
If you try to open a file that has been locked by another user, a popup indicates who has locked the file. You can choose to open the file locally in read only.
View your locked and cached files
1. In Google Drive, select the UFO extension button on the Chrome bar.
2. If you have one or more files in your cache, the list of cached files is displayed.
- By default, cached files are sorted by the last modification date. You can sort your cached files by their name, last modification date or size.
- If you have no files in your cache, the status of the UFO extension is displayed.
3. Check the file icon to see its lock status:
4. Select the name of a file that isn’t locked by another user to open and edit it locally.
- If you open a cached file that hasn't been edited by another user, the file is opened directly from your cached files.
- If you open a cached file that has been edited by another user, the file is downloaded again to your cached files.
Manage your cached files
When you open a file with UFO, the file is stored in a local repository known as cached files. The default location for the cached files is:
- On your PC:
- On your Mac:
Note: When you initialize the UFO extension, a cleanup of your cache is performed:
- if your cache contains more than 100 files, the least recently modified files are removed (the cache contains a maximum of 100 files)
- files that haven't been modified in the last 30 days are removed
1. Press the Locate in Google Drive button to open the parent Google Drive folder of the file in a new tab.
2. Press the Remove button on the right of the file name to remove the file stored locally in your cached files. Press Delete stored files to remove all the cached files.
- If you remove a locked cached file, the lock is released.
- You can’t remove a cached file if it is open in your local software.
3. Press the View details button to display additional information about the file and its lock.
4. Press Back to display the status of the UFO extension.
Unlock files manually
You can unlock only files that you have locked:
1. From the cached files list, press the red padlock of a file to unlock it.
A confirmation window opens.
2. Select Yes.
Note: Removing a file locked by you from the cached files releases its lock.
- Saving and closing the file in your local software doesn’t unlock your file automatically.
- You can remove a lock even if your document is open in your local software.
Automatic lock expiration
A lock on a file expires after one hour, even if the file is still open in your local software. When the lock expires, any contributor of the library can lock the file and edit it.
If a lock expires and you try to save a file that’s still open in your local software:
- Your changes are saved in Google Drive if the file isn’t locked by another user and hasn’t been modified since you opened it.
The file is automatically locked again by you when you save.
- Your changes aren’t saved if the file is locked by another user.
A popup appears to prompt you to save a copy of your file in another location on your computer. You can then manually merge your changes later.
- The changes aren’t saved if the file is unlocked but has been modified by another user since you last opened it.
The Conflict resolution popup appears. You can choose to discard your changes or overwrite the changes of the other user with your updates. If you choose to discard your changes, you can save a copy of your file in another location on your computer. You can then manually merge your changes later.
Access files offline
1. In the Google Drive settings, while still online, make sure offline access is enabled. Learn more about using Google Drive files offline.
2. When offline, access Google Drive.
3. Select the UFO extension icon.
The list of files available in your cache appears.
4. Select a cached file to open it locally in read only.
5. If you edit the file, you can’t save your changes in the same cached file. You can save a copy of the file on your local computer. Any changes you make won’t be automatically synchronized when you go back online. You can manually merge your changes later.