UFO: Manage locked files

The Universal File Opener (UFO) is a Google Chrome extension. It enhances the Google Drive and AODocs experience 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 or AODocs

You can view locked files in Google Drive and in the UFO status pop-up. Learn more:

This article explains how to manage locked files with UFO.

Lock your files
Automatic unlock features
Manually unlock your files

Lock your files

To avoid editing conflicts, UFO locks shared files that are being edited:

  • When you open a file locally with UFO, it is locked by you. Nobody else can edit a file you have locked. By default, the file is locked for one hour. Administrators can configure a different lock duration.
  • When you save your file in your local software, the lock is extended by an hour from the moment you save.


If a file is locked by another user, you can choose to open the file locally in read-only.

Tip: If you're using UFO without the AODocs Smartbar you can check if a file is locked by another user before opening it.


Automatic unlock features

Automatic lock expiration

The lock on a file expires even if the file is still open in your local software. When the lock expires on a file, other contributors of the library can lock the file and edit it.

– By default the file lock lasts an hour.
– Administrators can configure a different lock duration.

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 or AODocs 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 pop-up opens to prompt you to save a copy of your file in another location on your computer. You can then manually merge your changes later.


  • Your changes aren't saved if the file is unlocked but has been modified by another user since you last opened it. The Conflict resolution pop-up opens. On macOS, press More.

    You can choose to:

    • Overwrite the current Google Drive file with your changes

    • Discard your changes and get the latest version from Google Drive. If you choose to discard your changes, you can first save a copy of your file on your computer and then manually merge your changes later.

Note: When you try to save a Word file in which there is a conflict, you can use the Compare and Merge feature to resolve your conflicts. Learn more: Handle conflicts in Microsoft Word files.


Automatic unlock when you close your file editor

UFO unlocks files automatically when you close the local editor of the following file types:

Microsoft Office

  • Word (.doc, .docm, .docx)
  • Excel (.xlsb, .xlsx)
  • PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
  • Access (.accdb)


  • Writer (.odt)
  • Calc (.ods)
  • Presentation (.odp)
  • Drawing (.odg)

Adobe Acrobat

Manually unlock your files

You can manually unlock file types that aren't unlocked automatically by UFO.

Important: You can only unlock files you have locked.

Unlock files from the synchronization status notification

1. Edit your file and save your changes locally.

An initial notification appears informing you the changes are being saved. Then, the notification 100% - synchronization status appears to inform you that:

  • the changes have been saved
  • the lock on the document is extended after saving your document

– By default the lock is extended for an hour
– Administrators can configure a different lock extension time.

2. On the 100% - synchronization status notification, select the unlock option:

  • On macOS: Press More then select Unlock
  • On Windows: Press Unlock


Unlock files from Google Drive

If you're using UFO without the AODocs Smartbar:

1. Hover over a non-Google file that you locked with UFO. A pop-up opens.

2. Press Unlock now.


Unlock files from the cached list

1. Open your list of cached files.

2. Press the red padlock of a file to unlock it. A confirmation window opens.

3. Press Yes.

– Removing a file locked by you from the cached files releases its lock.
– You can remove a lock even if your document is open in your local software.


Was this article helpful? 6 out of 6 found this helpful
If you didn’t find what you were looking for, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Have more questions? Submit a request



Please sign in to leave a comment.