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Checking if the file is locked

December 19, 2014

A post that I had found recently on Stack Overflow which answers the following question which often happens when you see “File in use by another process” proves quite useful in C# :-

I’m writing a program in C# that needs to repeatedly access 1 image file. Most of the time it works, but if my computer’s running fast, it will try to access the file before it’s been saved back to the filesystem and throw an error: “File in use by another process”.

Here’s the code to check based on the FileInfo property of a file is a file is locked or not which works.

protected virtual bool IsFileLocked(FileInfo file)
{
FileStream stream = null;

try
{
stream = file.Open(FileMode.Open, FileAccess.ReadWrite, FileShare.None);
}
catch (IOException)
{
//the file is unavailable because it is:
//still being written to
//or being processed by another thread
//or does not exist (has already been processed)
return true;
}
finally
{
if (stream != null)
stream.Close();
}

//file is not locked
return false;
}

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