Storyline is locked by another process

Feb 02, 2018

I need some help.  I was trying to publish the file to LMS and it crashed and closed by itself partway through.  I though I would try again, but I keep getting a message "The project "Storyline" is locked by another process"  when I try an open my Storyline 2 file.

I have rebooted my laptop and successfully opened different storyline files.

Any ideas on how to fix this without re-creating the whole project?

75 Replies
Katie Riggio

Hey, David. Sorry to hear you're hitting this snag!

While it's hard to nail down the cause of such odd behavior, I have another approach for us to try. First, close all instances of Storyline in your Task Manager. Then, locate the Storyline file on your local hard drive > Right-click on it > Hover over Open with > Select Storyline [with the version next to it].

Let us know how that goes – we'll keep digging!

Sharon Halperin

Having the same issue. I tried opening Storyline first then browsing for the file (got the same error message), Opening the file from it's location (got the same error message), Change the filename (this is an awful work around especially when I have to name files in a specific way for the the same error message). I am rebooting my computer, which necessitates closing the many files and programs I need to use (MS Word, Teambox, Outlook, Chrome for my Google Drive backup files, IE so I can view the clients original modules which have flash in them on the three monitors. After rebooting, Articulate asked me to log in again to the software and once I did I the file opened. Hope this helps others and provides info to Articulate so they can fix this issue.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks, Debra for sharing here and helping out others who may run into the same issue. How often do you shut down Storyline and your computer? One of the best practices outlined here is to not leave the Storyline application open and unattended for long periods of time. If you leave the application running overnight, it’s possible that a malware scan or disk backup could run because the machine is idle, making your application vulnerable to crashing.

Sharon Halperin

Define "long periods of time". I have storyline 360 running most of the day as I move from one task to another for various clients. To close it every time I'll be away from it for 15- minutes to an hour is not a workflow I can live with. I have other programs like Premiere, Illustrator or Photoshop open for hours at a time with complex projects running and as long as I save often and before i jump to another task I have had no issues with those programs. I close storyline 360 at the end of my work day, but don't always shut down my computer.... I just let it go to sleep.  Some things I leave up like Teams and Outlook and Skype because most of my co-workers live in different time zones and some questions need answering asap. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Debra,

I'd say a number of hours (not an hour or less) and especially if it's not shut down nightly. I don't shut down my computer every night for similar reasons, but I do try to get in the habit of shutting it down on a regular basis, say every weekend or nights I know I won't be home (therefore not checking work).

It's not just good practice for Storyline, but other tools, applications and your computer as a whole. We all need the occasional reboot and reset, that more than a standard nights sleep offers. 

Pamela Bynum

I'm having this issue with two of my files that I worked on yesterday and today.  I followed all of the suggestions and still am getting an error.  Is this related to the most recent update?  I'm afraid to open anything else...

OF COURSE, I'm under a deadline (well now the project is overdue).  HELP!!!!!!

Sharon Halperin

The only thing that has worked for me is to reboot my PC computer. Time consuming, but in order to open the files I cannot let them set open for hours ( I close them about every two hours), and have to shut down my computer every night and open the next morning. I also have a Mac so I run my Adobe suite, Teams, outlook and Skype on it to avoid further issues and use Google Drive to share needed files. NOT the workflow I want or need (time consuming). I’d move to Lectora or Captivate, but the client specified Storyline. Articulate please 🙏 fix this bug.

Pamela Bynum

Thanks for your replies David and Debra,

From what I can tell, the culprit IS the sync with GDrive.  I just started using it last week (backing up my laptop before some memory upgrades) and that's when I started seeing the SL Locked issues.  I've disabled sync for the time being.

@Articulate:  I suspect there are a lot of us Storyline users who do sync with some cloud service so I think this bug should be addressed....sooon!