Finding temporary word / excel / powerpoint files (tilde files) document locked by user

The estimated reading time 1 minutes

Some days ago I found an issue concerning word /excel documents. The behavior was strange, because one of these programms said that the file the user wanted to open, was locked by another user. But this user definitly did not open it. Only the mentioned user who “locked” it was able to open and change it.

After some research I was able to locate the issue within the tilde files (temporary files created when word /excel opens) This files were not deleted, so the document  thinks it is still opend by the old user.

The next challange was to find them because I wanted to clean up my entire fileserver

So here is the solution:


Go to the windows explorer and search with this string, on the related folder. It will give you all the tilde files unterneath this tree.

Normally you can delete them all, especially if they are older.


If you want more information about temporary files in office documents please have a look on this articel

Try it and write a comment.

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1 year ago

TYVM , Legendary!!! Saved hours of painstaking work!

Peter Best
1 year ago

Thank you
baaie dankie

2 years ago

~ 4 years after you wrote this – it came in super handy.

Thank you Internet

Jordan Banks
Jordan Banks
Reply to  A.K.
2 years ago

And again 13 days later – thank you.. was thinking I’d have to write a VB script

3 years ago

Thank you (or Terima Kasih in my language)