How Do End Users Lock Files and Folders

Overview

AXIS Cloud Sync allows users to place locks on files and folders in Team Shares, giving subscribers the ability to set read-only permissions on shared content. This feature prevents other Team Share subscribers from editing and overwriting content while changes are being made. Users can place locks on a whole Team Share, a sub folder in a Team Share, or a file in a Team Share. When an item is locked, a lock icon is placed over the file or folder, alerting other Team Share subscribers that it is in read-only mode.

If a user forgets to lock a file or folder before making changes, a file sync conflict could occur. For more information, please reference the How Do I Manually Resolve a File Sync Conflict Knowledgebase article.

This article reviews file and folder locking configuration options, and how these options affect users.

Configuration Options

Administrators can configure the file locking feature in a number of ways, depending on the needs of the individual organization. For more information, please reference the How Do I Manage the Anchor File and Folder Locking Feature Knowledgebase article.
For example:

  • Administrators can decide to turn on or off the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature for individual Team Shares.When the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature is turned on for Team Shares, subscribers are automatically prompted to lock Microsoft Word and Excel files each time they are opened. If this feature is turned off, users must remember to manually lock and unlock files and folders using the agent’s right-click context menu.
  • Administrators can configure the Use Filesystem Permissions policy to determine whether locks are hard or soft.When hard locks are configured, the agent changes the NTFS permissions on Windows, or HFS Plus permissions on Mac, in order to prevent changes by other users. These permissions allow for a much stronger lock, and are especially important for File Server Enablement environments where mapped drive users must be notified by the filesystem when a file is in use.

    A soft lock does not utilize NTFS permissions or HFS Plus permissions, and instead allows a user to make changes to his or her local copy.

For more information on how administrators can configure these file locking settings, please reference the File and Folder Locking Knowledge Base article.

Best Practice: In most instances, we recommend that administrators enable hard locks and turn on the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature for Team Shares. This configuration ensures the best possible user experience, and helps prevent file sync conflicts.

Locking and File Server Enablement

If a Team Share has been mapped to a file server through File Server Enablement, locks will be honored both in the Team Share and on the file server. If NTFS permissions are modified on the file server, however, these modifications will not be honored in the Team Share.

Additionally, when you specify a network path as a source for File Server Enablement, the content on the network path will not support the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature.

Auto Lock Expected Behavior

  • The Auto Lock Word/Excel feature only applies to Word and Excel files accessed through the agent. Users will need to manually lock folders, and this feature cannot be utilized in the web portal interface.
  • The Auto Lock Word/Excel feature is not supported for Word for Mac and .xls files opened with Excel. The Auto Lock Word/Excel feature is supported for .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .odt and .ods documents if the documents are opened with LibreOffice or OpenOffice.
  • Auto-locked files will automatically unlock themselves after a one hour period. If you would like to keep a file open for a longer period of time, please manually lock and unlock your files as appropriate.

Auto Locking Team Share Content

If the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature is turned on for a Team Share, the system will prompt users to lock files each time an item is opened. Administrators must turn on this feature for each individual Team Share.

Note: Auto-locking is not supported for Word for Mac and .xls files opened with Excel. Auto-locking is supported for .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .odt and .ods documents if the documents are opened with LibreOffice or OpenOffice.

When working with the Auto Lock Word/Excel feature:

  1. Click to open a Word or Excel file in a Team Share.You will be presented with a dialog box that will prompt you to lock the file.
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  2. Click the Lock Document While I Work link to confirm the lock, and to enforce the lock while you are working on the file. When you close the file, the file will automatically unlock.
  3. Click the Don’t Lock link to keep the file unlocked. Remember that when you make changes to an unlocked file, you might encounter instances where another user makes changes to the same file at the same time, which will cause a file sync conflict.
  4. Optionally, click the Change Future Behavior link to configure personal preferences for locking files.
  5. Click the OK button to confirm your preference, and then edit your file as appropriate. When you close the file, it will automatically unlock, and will then sync to then server.

Manually Locking Team Share Content

You can also manually lock files and folders within Team Shares. You can manually lock files on both Windows and Mac machines.

Note: When you manually lock a file or folder, you must remember to also unlock the file or folder when you are finished.

To manually lock files and folders in the agent:

  1. In the agent, right-click the Team Share item, point to the sync menu, and select Lock.
  2. Alternatively, to lock the folder or file for a specific amount of time, point to Lock for, and select a time period, including: 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, or 1 day. When you utilize this option, you won’t need to remember to manually unlock the file or folder.
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To manually lock a file or folder in the web portal:

  1. In the web portal, right-click the item, and select lock. The item is now locked, and is read-only for everyone else in the share.
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  2. When you are finished editing, you must unlock the item. To unlock the item, right-click the file or folder again, and select unlock.

Viewing a Locked File

If hard locks are enabled, and a user opens an already-locked file, he or she will be presented with a read-only notification.

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Note: When attempting to edit a Microsoft Word 2013 or Microsoft Excel 2013 locked file, offending users will need to actively clear the read-only notification before they can edit a file. Older versions of Microsoft Word, however, will only display a read-only notification in the toolbar area. It is important to be mindful when working in Team Shares, and to pay attention to display indicators and warning messages.

If this user ignores the warning, and attempts to save changes, he or she will receive a warning message and be prompted to save the file with a different name.

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