How To Open An InDesign Lock (IDLK) File?

By | July 6, 2017

Open An Indesign Lock (Idlk) File

Wants to operate your locked IDLK file but unfortunately unable to do so? Well not to worry as you can overcome this issue easily. To know how, just read the following tutorial. As in this post we have contributed every pinch of detail about what this locked (IDLK) File is and how to open this.

So want are you waiting for…Grab the information…!

Practical Scenario:

My external HDD crashed recently but I was fortunate to recover most of my data. However, all of my indd files are corrupted and recovered as .idlk extension.

Any ideas how I can go about changing the extension to .indd to open in InDesign again?



What is an IDLK file?

Source control is been created when an InDesign (.INDD) file is opened; allow the file to be “checked out” and prevents the InDesign document from being edited by more than one user at a time.



InDesign lock files usually uses the following filename convention: “~[INDD filename]~[random string].idlk.” they gets saved in same order as the InDesign files they represent. Whereas the left over IDLK files can be deleted after the InDesign application has been quit.

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 issue too that preventing you to operate the Adobe InDesign lock format file. Below are some most common reasons of this problem.

  • 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 application that supports well to the IDLK format.
  • The file with extension .idlk is vulnerable with the attack of malware.
  • May be 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  • Drivers of equipment that are necessary to open IDLK file are got out of date now.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 existence of such cases then the IDLK file should operate with your program without any issue.

Can’t open a .idlk file?

When you make a double tap to open an idlk file, windows examine the filename extension. if windows well recognizes the filename extension, it open the file in the program that is associated with that filename extension. But if in case window unable to recognize the filename extension then it will display the following errors:

Windows can’t open idlk file

To open this file, first of all windows needs to know what program you want to use to open it. Windows can go online or else you can look manually the one from the list of programs that are installed on your PC. In order to avoid this error, you need to set the file association rightly.

  • Open Control Panel > Control Panel Home > Default Programs > Set Associations.
  • Select the file type in the list and click to 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 addition to the problem discussed above i.e lack of the appropriate application to support the .IDLK file and likewise may other too. So, you need to work around these reasons only to get the perfect fixes to resolve this issue.

Use the right version of the installed application:

It’s quite common issue that the application doesn’t have the appropriate version. Even if, you have an application, with the help of which you should open the .IDLK file, you may have a problem with it and reasons is its version. Perhaps in previous versions the application has not yet supported the .IDLK file, so it’s better to download the update and check 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 now it is the correct version but still the problem is same then the issue can be the Operating system. This problem is just because of the reason that operating system doesn’t have information that this IDLK program supports the file.

So, it 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:

Chances are also that IDLK file is somehow got corrupted and therefore there is no such possibility. In such situation you need to use the reliable InDesign File Repair tool. This is professional tool is capable of repairing and restoring your InDesign problems which you are seeing on your system. After fixing the issue your system will run smooth and fast. Use the below given step-by-step tutorial to fix InDesign issue.

How To Convert A .IDLK File Into A File In Another Format?

 Convert A .IDLK File Into A File In Another Format

If you want to convert a .IDLK file into a file in another format then this task is possible by using an INDD viewer or editor. But as you will see some conversion require a bit more task to perform.

  • The most common file type is converting an INDD file to is PDF. This can be possibly 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. You can select the format to which you want to convert the INDD file just 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 does this then export the INDD TO PDF using InDesign and the n 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 format file into other format.