Monday, 26 September 2011

Office 2008 - Word file "is being used by another user" Error

One of the members of staff constantly gets the error message:

Some file is being used by "another user". Would you like to make a copy

It was quite a frustrating problem because you could open the Word .doc file in Pages, save it as another .doc file and then open it back up in Word. Of course the problem might pop up again with this new file.

It took about 25 mins to figure it out, thanks to the help of this forum. At the top I was reminded that there needs to be a ".TemporaryItems folder", in the folder which contains the Users home drives. I did this quite a few years ago.

Further down it also mentions Spotlight causing the issue. Simply make sure your Home Drive is in the "Privacy" section of Spotlight Preferences. Because I didn't want to log the user off, I also stopped the process as well called "Quick Look Helper". Worked a charm.

Of course I don't as yet know if you need to do this per user or per machine. I shall update this post when I find out.

In conclusion, I would also like to say that this is just a work around. You should not have to turn off Spotlight as it has a lot of good functions. I should think this is a problem with Microsoft Office 2008. I would also recommend Microsoft to make more accurate error messages. i.e. Your file is being used by another process. This process is: Spotlight. This would help solve problems a lot quicker and more efficiently.


  1. Try this tried and tested.Guaranteed fix. Here you can rename, delete, open and move your files instantly without the worries of error messages saying that there is some sort of a problem.

    1. Microsoft Office 2008 is Mac OS X only so this won't work