Error: This plan cannot be opened because user is using it

Alerts and notices


You may see this error when opening a plan in Planner CS.

Error message

This plan cannot be opened because the user <user name or server name> is already using it.


This happens because there is a lock on the plan. There could be a lock because:

  • Someone else has the plan open.
  • Planner CS closed unexpectedly so the lock on the plan could not to be deleted.
  • For Virtual Office CS or Software as a Service (SaaS) firms, the connection to the plan lock was lost. In that case, the error mentions a server name instead of a user name.


You need to remove the plan lock. If you can't remove the plan lock, you need to restore a backup of the plan.

Virtual Office CS / SaaS firms

Contact support at 800.968.0600 to have the lock cleared or a backup restored.

Local or network installations

To clear locks:

  1. In Planner CS, close the error message and any open plans.
  2. Choose Help > Clear Locks.
  3. Select Clear locks set by a specific user and enter the user name or server name from the error message in the Specify the user field.
  4. Click the Clear Locks button.

If you still receive the error message, you need to clear the lock manually:

  1. Navigate to X:\WinCSI\$UTPSYS\$UTPCID on your network, where X is the mapped drive or network location where Planner CS is installed. 
  2. Search for a file name that contains the plan ID of the locked plan, and delete the file.
  3. Click Yes. 

If clearing locks does not resolve the issue, you'll need to restore the plan from a backup. If you want to recreate the plan using the same plan ID, first choose Tools > Update Plan List to remove the plan ID from your list of plans. See Restoring or checking in data and other items.

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for the feedback!

Internal notes

Virtual Office CS / SaaS firms

If clearing user locks does not resolve the issue and the firm does not want to restore the most recent backup, See the Web Services CF. They can take the following steps:

  1. Log in to the server where plan was last accessed / locked. The server information is referenced in the error message.
  2. Map the Y: drive to the firm in question.
  3. Launch Planner CS
  4. Choose File > Open and try to open the plan in question.

If you receive a message that the plan has been moved or deleted, choose to update the plan list. The plan will be removed from the list and the user can re-export from UltraTax CS to re-create the plan. Or, a backup can be restored.