Manual File Locking


Starting with ownCloud Server 10.5 a new enhancement is provided for content collaboration. Manual file locking allows users to lock files in shared areas while working on them in order to prevent concurrent changes from other users (check-in/check-out).

The feature builds on the WebDAV Locks backend which has been introduced with Server 10.1 and is now available in the ownCloud Web Interface. All storages are supported as locking takes place on the WebDAV level. The locks will only be available via ownCloud, not when a user works directly on the storage. Using the context menu of files, every user who has access can lock them. Users can recognize locked files by the means of a new lock indicator. While a file is locked, other users can still access it but they can not make any changes. Locked files can manually be unlocked by the lock owner (the user who locked the file; exclusive locking) using the "Locks" tab in the file details view (right sidebar).


By default, locks set in the web interface will expire after 30 minutes. The maximum lock time by default is 24 hours.

The user-facing components in the web interface are disabled by default because this feature allows users to lock other user’s files exclusively. Even the owner of the file can’t unlock them.

Administrators can enable the feature by executing the following occ command:

Make the user-facing components visible

sudo -u www-data php occ config:app:set files enable_lock_file_action --value yes


To prevent files being locked infinitely, there is a mechanism that automatically expires locks after a certain time. The expiration time of locks can be configured via the "Manual File Locking" section in the Admin → Additional settings or using occ commands:

Default timeout for the locks is if not specified (in seconds): Maximum lifetime of a lock set via the web interface (or by not specifying a timeout value when calling the WebDAV Locks API)

sudo -u www-data php occ config:app:set files lock_timeout_default --value 1800

Maximum timeout for the locks (in seconds): Maximum lifetime of locks which is allowed to be set by calling the WebDAV Locks API

sudo -u www-data php occ config:app:set files lock_timeout_max --value 86400