Can’t Edit This Page… In Contribute

If you get a message in Contribute telling you “You can’t edit this page now because so-and-so is currently editing it”, and you know that is not the case, deleting .LCK files from the server may help.

The best way of doing this is using an ftp program, however, depending on your role, you may be able to do this using Contribute.

Connect to the site and click the choose icon.

File chooser button

File chooser button

Open the page then go to the File menu > Actions > Delete Page.

Delete a page in Contribute

Delete a page in Contribute

This is a problem that happens when a file is also being edited by a Dreamweaver user. The .lck files are ‘lock’ files that are written to prevent two people working on a file at the same time.

If the Dreamweaver user (often the designer) wants to continue to use Dreamweaver rather than Contribute for working on the page, the solution is simple; don’t Put your files – Check them in and out!

If you are the Dreamweaver user and your files in the Site list have got green ticks next to them, they will be OK for you to work on but nobody else will be able to make edits.

Check Out icon

Check In icon

You check files OUT that are on the server, downloading them to your system, where they will show in your Site list with a tick, meaning you can work on them. Once you have made your edits, you check them back IN by clicking on the Blue up arrow with a padlock symbol on it.

Checked files

Checked files

The symbols on the arrows should help you remember what you are doing:

If it’s ticked YOU can work on it but no one else can. If it’s showing the lock, you will have to check it out with the server!

other page


  1. Joel_MMCC

    Note that if you try to delete the .LCK files from within Dreamweaver (version 8, anyway) using Site View and showing the Remote Server with “View / Show Hidden Files” enabled, you may get a message saying that the file(s) could not be deleted because of Access Denied or they no longer exist.

    They probably did get deleted anyway, but Dreamweaver got confused afterward. Simply Refresh the Remote Site view, and you should see that they’re gone.

  2. Designermagic

    Thank you Joel.
    This is a helpful addition to my post.

  3. Adrian

    If you use “delete page” as per the comment listed, does this not delete the page from the server?

    I am having a simular problem only using Contribute, no other product. But when trying to edit the file I am told that the file is in use by “me” somewhere else. I am remotely trying to access the file from home.

    Thank you in advance for any assistance

    • Designermagic

      The files on the server you are deleting having .lck after the html/php extension. These are not the pages themselves but copies of them created during the transfer process. They are safe to delete.
      I too had the same problem hence my original reason for posting the note on the blog. Using ftp rather than Contribute or Dreamweaver is the best way to clear these files. Once that is done, the best thing is to open Dreamweaver and connect to the site. Then go to the site preferences and select the option to enable Contribute compatibility. This generates a new file on the server telling the site that you will be using the check out/in process. You do need to be connected to the remote site for this to work properly or you will get errors telling you there is a missing file needed every time you check files out/in. Once compatibility is set and working, check out ALL the page files (you don’t need to worry about the images or css) so they are on your local machine with green ticks. Then check them all back in so they have the padlock icons. This seems to initialise the compatibility mode and it all works from then on.

      Final note – in Contribute, go to the site admin (see this post if you need to) and check Contribute compatibility is enabled. This ensures that you can work with several versions of Contribute rather than just your current one. I have sometimes had to edit content from machines with earlier versions of Contribute such as Macromedia Contribute 3 in one place!

      Good luck.

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