My company has data for which we do not want to produce conflicted copies and deal with the hassle of merging.

Is there a way to tell if a file is currently opened by a team member?

2 Answers 2


Not as a direct feature* of Dropbox.

However, if you use a file editor that saves a temporary lock file to the same folder as a marker that the file is in use, then Dropbox will also sync that file to everyone. If another peroson then uses the same editor, the editor will notice the lock file, and alert that the file is in use.

(I seem to recall that Microsoft Word works like this, but I'm not sure.)

* - From a technological perspective, it would be a very silly thing for Dropbox to have as a direct feature. Dropbox syncs files in a way that the synced files are exactly like any other file on the local file system. It only monitors those files for changes. Therefore Dropbox can't really know if any of the files are being edited, since they are not in any way requested from Dropbox when opened, but instead they are opened directly from the local file system. This is also the strength of Dropbox compared to some other alternatives that have their own drivers to mount themselves as a special drive on the OS - while they can be accessed pretty much like regular drives, they require the software to be running for the files to be accessible. Dropbox files can be edited and accessed regardless of the Dropbox software, it only manages the syncing.


Or, rename something.doc to something_YOURNAME.doc before editing and put it back when you are done.


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