Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top ArcGIS 10: Lock Files

According to the above post the only way to delete these sr.lock files is to completely exit all ArcGIS programs.

When attempting copy & paste of a recently used shape file (with corresponding mxd closed) this error pops up sr lock error

It will paste a portion of the shape files, but not all of them.

I have both service packs 1 and 2 installed.

share|improve this question
Arcgis or ArcCatalog is still running in the background - check your task manager. – Mapperz Sep 14 '11 at 14:42

If you want to copy a shapefile (or file geodatabase for that matter) without exiting all Arcgis programs or killing processes, stop any active Edit sessions or geoprocessing tasks, open up a Command Prompt window and:


xcopy /c /v d:\projects\aaa\some-shapefile.* d:\some\other\place

The /c means continue even if there are errors (e.g. skip in-use lock files); /v = verify.

File geodatabase:

xcopy /c /i /v d:\projects\aaa\some-file.gdb\* d:\some\other\place\some-file.gdb

/i means assume destination is a folder, not a file.

More info about parameters on SS64. Vista, Win7 and newer users press shift when r-clicking in folder to open a prompt quickly in that spot. XP users install the Command Prompt here windows explorer extension for same.


update Aug 2015: Added exit edit session, file-gdb example.

share|improve this answer

Look in Task Manager for the arcgiscachemgr process. This is what is holding the lock.

share|improve this answer
so if that process shows up in task manager we should delete it to kill the lock files? – sirgeo Sep 14 '11 at 15:38
yes the application once 'killed' will remove the lock on the file. – Mapperz Sep 14 '11 at 15:56
maybe it's just me, but i think a $20,000 software should perform better than this... anything that requires routinely killing a process in task manager to function properly is poorly designed imho. – sirgeo Sep 14 '11 at 16:15
1. using a $20k software to create shapefiles? 2. If you use arccatalog to copy the shapefiles you won't have to kill the cache process. 3. viewer is much cheaper and will create shapefiles. – Brad Nesom Sep 14 '11 at 16:33
you will pay a lot of extra money to be able to the things you need, i.e. Maplex, Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, etc. – sirgeo Sep 19 '11 at 13:14

If your lock file happens to be created by a Python script running a geoprocessing function, and the Python script hangs up for some reason, you may also need to kill the "python.exe" process from the Task Manager in order to release the schema lock.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.