You may receive a "file already in use" error message when you try to open an Access database that is located on a server

Applies to: Microsoft Office Access 2003Microsoft Office Access 2007Access 2010

This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.accdb and .mdb).

Novice: Requires knowledge of the user interface on single-user computers.

For a Microsoft Access 2000 version of this article, see
202171 .
For a Microsoft Access 97 version of this article, see
183936 .

Symptoms


When you try to open a database that is located on a server, you may receive the following error message:
Couldn't use <filename>; file already in use.

Cause


 If a user opens a database and doesn't have create rights for the folder in which the database is located, the Microsoft Jet database engine can't create the locking information file (*.ldb in Access 2003 and in earlier versions of Access and *.laccdb in Access 2007/2010) that is necessary for multiple users to open the database. Therefore, a user who doesn't have create rights opens the database exclusively if a corresponding .ldb file or .laccdb file does not already exist. 

Resolution


To prevent this behavior, you must make sure that all users who open the database have read, write, and create rights for the folder in which the database is located.

Additionally, if you are using a security-enhanced Access database, you must make sure that the users who open the database also have Read permission and Write permission on the folder that contains the workgroup information (.mdw) file.

More Information


In order to open a database in shared mode, the Microsoft Jet database engine must be able to create a locking information file (*.ldb or *.laccdb) in the same folder as the database itself.

For more information about .ldb files, click Microsoft Access Help on the Help menu, type sharing access database in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

References


For additional information about .ldb files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

299373 Introduction to .ldb files