Literally every week we either receive a phone call or an email from a client telling us that one of his articles is now marked as “checked out” and is locked for editing. They tell us that they’re unable to unlock these articles to edit them. They then ask, why was the article locked in the first place?
Joomla has this not so smart functionality where someone opens an article for editing, it locks it, so that other people trying to edit the article won’t be able to. This functionality is very old (it dates back to the Mambo era) and it guarantees that no 2 people are working on the same article at the same time (which will guarantee no one is overwriting somebody else’s edits). The lock is removed once the person who started editing the article clicks on the “Close” button on the top right. Clicking on any other button won’t unlock the article, and clicking on the back button will also keep the article in locked status.
Let us now answer the question in the tile, how to unlock a Joomla article. When an article is locked, there are 3 ways to unlock it:
1- The same person who locked the article in the first place either closes the article (if it’s still open) or opens the article again, and then closes it.
2- A super administrator logs in to the Joomla administrative panel, and then click on System (or Tools, depending on the Joomla version), and then clicks on Global Checkin. This will unlock all the locked articles.
3- Someone logs in to phpMyAdmin (hopefully that someone is a technical person), and then runs the following query: “UPDATE TABLE jos_content SET checked_out = 0″. This will also unlock all locked articles. (Note: You should remove the quotes around the query before trying to run it).
The last option should be the very last resort, and should be done very carefully. In case you need help unlocking a Joomla article, then feel free to contact us.