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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two Ways to Solve the "Can't edit the element until 'problemUser' resaves the element to central..." Revit Worksharing Issue

I'm sure you have probably seen this message before:
Can't edit the element until 'problemUser' resaves the element to central and relinquishes it and you Reload Latest

This may be caused by one of your team members not syncing with Central, and then experiencing a crash, or just logging out and going home. Before you send off an angry email, perhaps you could use one of these methods to get rid of the element locks and keep being productive. Method 1 is a bit more disruptive to a large team, while Method 2 is a bit more 'hacky'. Important: Both methods will mean that 'problemUser' has lost their work and will have to redo it.

So, maybe Method 0 is 'call problemUser on the phone' and see if they want to come back into the office to try and sync their work back to Central... but if that isn't an option, you may have to use one of these methods:

Method 1 - Recreating the Central File:
  1. Notify all team members to Sync with Central and Close Revit
  2. Make a copy of your current Central file and _backup folder and put it somewhere for safekeeping
  3. Detach from Central
  4. Save As Central - overwrite the same file
  5. Notify your team members to open the model again, using 'Create New Local' tickbox

Method 2 - Using a Known User Name to Relinquish Element locks

First, make a note of the user name that has the lock. In the image below, it is 'rds check3':
 Open a new Revit instance and set that as the user name in Options:

Open the model normally (Create New Local) under that user name, and immediately click 'Relinquish All Mine'...

... and then Synchronize with Central. The element locks should now be gone.

In one of the other model instances (ie. your own user name), you can now Sync with Central... (or Reload Latest)
 ... and you can successfully modify the element that was previously locked.

As usual, the best idea is to do What Revit Wants and Sync with Central regularly so that lost work is minimized.


  1. Don't forget to change your username back! If you leave it as the other person's username, you'll have big issues the next time you're both in the model.

  2. Have you tried that while using Collaboration for Revit (C4R).
    Since you need the credentials of that user to connect to A360, that trick won't probably work.

    1. I haven't tried it... but I would still try signing out and matching their login name. Fundamentally, Revit just understands the user name string (as far as I'm aware). I don't think the Revit worksharing engine really comprehends Autodesk SSO? But I could be wrong...

    2. Luke,
      I just tried it.
      And option 2 cannot be applied while using C4R.
      In order to access a Revit Model that resides on A360, you need to sign in to your A360 account by giving your username AND password.
      If in Revit you change your username under Options to give the name of the user that has the lock, to access your Model on A360, you will be prompt for your A360 credentials. That will automatically re-change the username under Options, to the username you are using to connect to A360.

    3. In that case I guess only the Detach and Resave option is feasible on C4R?

  3. This happens in my office frequently. It is occasionally caused by crashes but almost never by people failing to sync. We are a small office (6 modelers) and everyone using Revit is experienced and knows "the rules" about syncing (and are consistent about following company procedures in general). Often it is me, I am not perfect but I am very very consistent. It is rare when only two people work in a model, but happens much more frequently when 3 or 4 are working simultaneously. Does anyone have ideas as to why this happens and how to fix without workarounds?