January 21, 2023 By Matthew Rathbone *

If you are encountering the “SQLite database is locked” error, it means that the database you are trying to access is already in use by some other process. This can be caused by a number of different reasons, but the most common cause is that another connection to the database has not been properly closed.

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Here are some steps you can take to try and resolve the “SQLite database is locked” error:

Check Open Connections

Check if there are any other connections to the database that are still open. If there are, try to close them and then try accessing the database again.

Restart Your Application

If there are no other open connections, try restarting the application that is using the database. This can sometimes resolve the issue if the problem is with the application itself.

Tweak Using The Shell

If the problem persists, try using the SQLite command line shell to access the database directly. This can be done by using the “sqlite3” command, followed by the path to the database file.

Once you are in the shell, you can try running the “PRAGMA busy_timeout” command, followed by a timeout value in milliseconds. This can help the database handle the lock more gracefully, allowing you to access it even if it is currently in use by another process.

Manually Unlock Using The Shell

If none of the above steps work, you may need to try manually unlocking the database. This can be done by using the “PRAGMA lock_status” command in the SQLite shell, which will show you the current state of the locks on the database.

If the database is indeed locked, you can try using the “PRAGMA busy_timeout” and “PRAGMA lock_timeout” commands to set a timeout for the lock, after which it will be released automatically.

Consider A True Multi Tenant Database

If all else fails, you may need to consider using a different database system, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, which may be better equipped to handle locking and concurrency issues.

Database locked error summary

Overall, the “SQLite database is locked” error can be frustrating to deal with, but with a little bit of patience and troubleshooting, it can usually be resolved. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to access your database again and continue working with it as normal.