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I have ArcMap open, and someone else has the same shapefile open as me. How can I kick them off so that I can edit? I get the following error message: "Unable to save edits, cannot acquire a lock"

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That wouldn't be very nice esp if they are in the middle of making changes. We have locking for a reason. – Nathan W Aug 3 '11 at 1:32
You shouldn't be doing multi-user editing in a shapefile anyways. If you are doing any kind of multi-user editing it should really be in a versioned geodatabase. See Versioning 101 in ArcUser Online. – blah238 Aug 3 '11 at 1:39
make a copy of the shapefile and edit that copy. ArcCatalog can create locks on shapefiles - close it and they will be removed. – Mapperz Aug 3 '11 at 2:12
Go up to their desk and slap them, not too firmly, and look in their eyes and tell them not to play about with YOUR data. Make sure your eyes are wide open at this stage, and then as you walk away, affect a twitch and start talking to yourself. This should stop it in future. – Hairy Aug 3 '11 at 7:09
Upvote for Mapperz comment for Arc Catalog lock. Make sure Arc Catalog is closed, or at the very least viewing a different folder than the one that contains the shapefile. – user3461 Aug 3 '11 at 15:36
up vote 6 down vote accepted

This used to work, but I haven't done this in years. And this is only going to work for a windows machine where you have admin priv:

Remote into the file server and use openfiles.exe /disconnect to disconnect the user from the files.

Or you could use psexec \\machinename cmd and run the openfiles.exe on the remote console.

This question really gets into the realm of file systems, so there could be multiple answers to this question. If the file server is linux, then that will be a different answer (at the time I posted this answer, no OS was mentioned.).

Disclaimer: I'm in no way advocating multi-user editing with shapefiles!

OPENFILES /Disconnect [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]
                      {[/ID id] [/A accessedby] [/O openmode]}
                      [/OP openfile]

    Enables an administrator to disconnect files and folders that
    have been opened remotely through a shared folder.

Parameter List:
    /S     system         Specifies the remote system to connect to.

    /U     [domain\]user  Specifies the user context under which the
                          command should execute.

    /P     [password]     Specifies the password for the given user

    /ID    id             Specifies to disconnect open files by file ID.
                          The "*" wildcard may be used.

    /A     accessedby     Specifies to disconnect all open files by
                          "accessedby" value. The "*" wildcard
                          may be used.

    /O     openmode       Specifies to disconnect all open files by
                          "openmode" value. Valid values are Read,
                          Write or Read/Write. The "*" wildcard
                          may be used.

    /OP    openfile       Specifies to disconnect all open file
                          connections created by a specific "open
                          file" name. The "*" wildcard may be used.

    /?                    Displays this help message.

    OPENFILES /Disconnect /?
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /ID 1
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /A  username
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /O Read/Write
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /OP "c:\My Documents\somedoc.doc" /ID 234
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /S system  /U username /ID 5
    OPENFILES /Disconnect /S system  /U username /P password /ID *
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This is not for actually 'kicking' a user out, but apparently there is now an app called VectorLock which 'that restricts view and edit access to shapefiles.' I just read it in Directions Magazine

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