[Fixed] How to Open An InDesign Lock (IDLK) File?

By | July 6, 2017

Open An Indesign Lock (Idlk) File

Want to open your locked IDLK file but unfortunately unable to do so?

Well, don’t worry as you can easily fix this issue and open a ‘.IDLK’ file without calling any professional. In this post, I’ve contributed every pinch of detail about what this lock (IDLK) File is and how to open the locked file.

So what are you waiting for… simply go through this tutorial and open InDesign lock (IDLK) file.


Practical Scenario:

Recently my external HDD get crashed, don’t know why. But I was lucky to recover most of my data. However, all the recovered INDD files are recovered with .idlk extension.

Any idea that how to change the extension to .indd and open my InDesign files again?




What is an IDLK file?

Every time when user open an InDesign (.INDD) file a Source control is created. It allows the file to “check out” and prevents the InDesign document from being edited by more than one user at a time.

Generally, InDesign lock files use the following filename convention: “~[INDD filename]~[random string].idlk.” they get saved automatically in the same order as the InDesign. Whereas the leftover IDLK files get deleted after the InDesign application gets closed.


Possible Problems with the Files that are in the IDLK Format

The inaccessibility of IDLK file doesn’t mean that you don’t have appropriate installed software on your PC.

There are several other issues too, that preventing you from using the Adobe InDesign lock format file.

Below are some most common reasons for this issue:

  • IDLK file that you are trying to open is somehow got corrupted.
  • Wrong links to IDLK file in registry entries.
  • Unintentional deletion of description of IDLK from the Windows registry
  • Improper installation of an application that supports well to the IDLK format.
  • The file with extension .idlk is vulnerable to the attack of malware.
  • Maybe your PC doesn’t have enough hardware resources to cope with the opening of IDLK file.
  • Drivers of equipment that are necessary to open IDLK file are got out of date now.


Further Reading:

InDesign CC 2017 Review – What’s New In Adobe Creative Cloud 2017

6 Tips to Speed Up InDesign Application Performance…!


If you are not so sure about the existence of such cases then the IDLK file should operate with your program without any issue.


Can’t open a .idlk file?

When you double-click on the file to open an idlk file, windows examine the filename extension. If windows will recognize the filename extension, it opens the file in the program that is associated with that filename extension.

But when the system gets unable to recognize the filename extension then it will display the following error message:

Windows can’t open idlk file

To open this file, first of all, Windows needs to know via which program you want to open it. Windows can go online or else you can do it manually by selecting the programs from the list of installed programs on your PC. In order to avoid this error, you need to set the file association correctly.

  • Open Control Panel > Control Panel Home > Default Programs > Set Associations.
  • Select the file type in the list and click on the Change Program option.


What program supports a ‘.IDLK’ file?

Adobe InDesign is the software mainly used to work with INDD files. However, you can view an indd file with QuarkXPress (with the ID2Qplugin), Adobe InCopy,  and ADOView as well.

Note: Adobe InDesign not only supports INDD and INDT but apart from this it also supports InDesign Book (INDB), InDesign CS3 Interchange (INX), QuarkXPress (QXD and QXT), and other InDesign file formats like INDP, INDL, and IDAP.


Fixes To Open An Indesign Lock (IDLK) File

In order to fix the problem discussed above i.e lack of the appropriate application to open the ‘.IDLK’ file and likewise many other too. You need to apply some tested fixes in order to resolve this issue.


Use the right version of the installed application:

It’s quite a common issue that the application doesn’t have the appropriate version.

Even if, you have an application through which you can open the ‘.IDLK’ file, but due to the improper software version you are not able to do that. Then you should first update the software and after updating tries to open the file again.


Also Read:

How To Fix Adobe Indesign Cs6 Error 5

How To Fix The Cannot Copy Necessary Linked Files In InDesign?


Use the Correct ‘.IDLK’ file Association with the Program

After installation of the appropriate application and updating to correct version, if you are still facing the same problem then the issue can be the Operating system.

This problem appears because the operating system doesn’t have information that IDLK program supports the file.

So, it is your responsibility to “show” which program the computer should use. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Make a right-click on the ‘.IDLK file’
  • Now go to the “Open with” option- then “Choose default program …”
  • Locate the appropriate application
  • Click “OK”


Fix Corrupt IDLK File:

If the problem appears because of the corruption then you need to fix them as soon as possible.

Once IDLK file gets damaged somehow, then no any applications are able to open this file. In such situation, you need to use the reliable InDesign File Repair tool.

This professional tool is capable of repairing and restoring corrupt InDesign file. This is a completely automatic tool that allows the user to fix their corrupt INDD file without any professional expertise.




How To Convert A ‘.IDLK’ File Into Another File Format?

If you want to convert a ‘.IDLK’ file into another file format then this task is possible by using an INDD viewer or editor.

But some conversion requires a bit more task to perform.

  • The most common file type in which you can convert an INDD file is PDF. This can be easily done with both Adobe InDesign and WeAllEdit.
  • Also in the InDesign, under the File > Export… menu, there is such option of export the INDD file to EPUB, JPG, EPS, SWF, FLA, HTML, XML, and IDML. Simply, select the format in which you want to convert the INDD file by changing the “Save as type” option.
  • You can also convert the INDD File to a Microsoft Word format like DOC or DOCX, but the differences of formatting options will make the results to look a bit off. But if you want to do this then export the INDD TO PDF using InDesign and then plug that PDF into a PDF to word converter to finish the conversion.
  • InDesign doesn’t have any particular INDD to PPTX export option for using the document with PowerPoint. Starts it by exporting the INDD to PDF and then, open the PDF file with Adobe Acrobat and use Acrobat’s File > Save As Other… > Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation menu to save it as a PPTX file.



Now, you must have got the best fixes to open up your locked IDLK file. You can also try converting up your IDLK file format into another format.

It is recommended to create the backup of your IDLK files first, and then apply any type of operation over them. This is necessary to avoid any kind of unwanted situation. Or while fixing the file if the file gets corrupt completely then you don’t need to worry about them as you have a backup of your files.