Windows 7 error upon saving, “Another user may have opened the file…”

If you open an existing file by double-clicking it in Windows Explorer, and then try to save it, but receive the error that states something like “the file cannot be saved because another user may have opened the file”, look to see if you have a checkbox that is selected in Windows Explorer just to the left of the file name.

If you do, that’s the culpret. The checkbox get selected even if you’ve double-clicked a file to open it. And, when it’s selected it’s actually opened behind the scenes whether the Windows Explorer “Preview” option is on or not.

The solution is simply to turn off the checkbox feature. It’s only purpose is to make selecting multiple files easier, which can be achieved just as easily by using Ctrl+Click (to select individul files) or Alt+Click (to select a range).

This is how you can turn off the checkbox feature:


  1. Open the Control Panel. (Start ->Control Panel)
  2. In the Address Bar, click on the right-arrow just after “Control Panel”, and select “All Control Panel Items”.
  3. Double-Click “Folder Options”.
  4. Select the “View” tab on the Folder Options window.
  5. Un-check “Use checkboxes to select items”.

Also, check “Always show menus.”, this makes it easier to access the folder options in the future through a top menu in Windows Explorer.