How to Unlock a Locked Gravity Form

I briefly discussed Gravity Forms* in a previous blog post on WordPress form plugins. I’ve gotten more familiar with Gravity Forms since I’ve started using it over a year ago. It’s now a toss-up on which form provider I like better between Wufoo and Gravity Forms. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

If your WordPress website has at least two users who can access and edit the Gravity Forms section (usually administrators), then you may have seen the locked form message. When this message appears, you cannot edit that particular form. If you try to edit a locked Gravity Form, you will receive a message like the following:

Request Control of Locked Gravity Form Modal Window

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I played around for a couple hours experimenting with Gravity Forms using two WordPress administrator accounts for my own website, and I found three solutions to unlock a locked Gravity Form. Before attempting any of these solutions, update your version of Gravity Forms to the latest version. These solutions may not work with earlier versions of Gravity Forms.

1. Request Control of the Locked Gravity Form

Initially, I tried this with a couple of my web design and SEO clients without any success. My clients never received a message with my request to edit their Gravity Form because both WordPress users have to be on the same Gravity Form editing page. It both users who have Gravity Forms editing rights are on the same form edit page, the current form editor will see a modal window pop up that looks like this:

(click image to view a larger version)
Accept Request to Edit Gravity Form Modal Window

This modal window can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to pop up. If the current form editor accepts the request, the requesting user will see a modal window pop up that looks like this:

(click image to view a larger version)
Take Over Control of Locked Gravity Form Modal Window

Like the 1st modal window, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes for it to pop up. If you don’t have success with this method, you can try the next method.

2. Have the Current Gravity Form Editor Leave the Form Editor or Log Out

If the current form editor is at their computer, they can go to another section of the WordPress admin section. You can also log out the current form editor by accessing their profile from the Users section and clicking the Log Out Everywhere button.

Log Out WordPress User Everywhere Button

It may take up to a few minutes, but the WordPress site user needing editing access to that particular Gravity Form will see the padlock disappear on the Forms page:

Locked Gravity Form

If you’ve waited over 10 minutes and the form that you want to edit is still locked, then you can try the last (and most technical) solution.

3. Deactivate and Reactivate Gravity Forms

Ian (from the comments below) suggested deactivating and reactivating Gravity Forms if you have a version higher than He also mentioned that you may have to do this twice. I gave it a shot, and it indeed worked for me on the first try. I am mentioning this method after the 1st two methods because your forms won’t work for a few seconds if you deactivate and reactivate Gravity Forms. Still, I would use this method before moving on to the next method.

4. Delete ALL Transients from Your WordPress’ Database Options Table

I didn’t come up with this solution. All credit goes to Anthony Horton of Maddison Designs. I found his blog post by searching Google for “unlocking locked Gravity Form”, and his blog post was the first result. You can click here to read his blog post on unlocking a locked Gravity Form.

Warning: before doing this, be sure you have a backup of your website’s MySQL database. In case something goes wrong, you may need to restore it. First, on PHPMyAdmin, you’ll go to your options table (most likely wp_options). Then, you’ll click the Search tab, add %_GFCache_% in the value field, and click the Go button.

MySQL Column Search

You should see rows of data that have _transient in them. Delete all of those rows. You can do this by selecting the highest number in the dropdown form field to get the most rows that you can, click Check all, and click Delete.

Transient Rows on Gravity Forms MySQL Database

If you still see transients, then continue deleting them until they are gone. All forms should now be unlocked for you to edit.

Thanks for reading this blog post. If you tried any of these solutions, I’d love to hear if any of them worked for you.


  1. Lori Newman on March 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Oh wow, I have seen this before. Thanks for the tips – definitely going to try this!

  2. Tom Nguyen on March 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    You’re welcome, Lori. Let me know what kind of results you experience.

  3. Enrico on October 17, 2016 at 5:38 am


    Thank’s for sharing this trick!

    I’ve tryied all 3 ways but… nothing changed. You know the 4th way? 😉

  4. Tom Nguyen on October 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Unfortunately, I don’t know a 4th way. Deleting all of the transients should have worked.

  5. Ian on June 19, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Try deactivating and reactivating the plugin. (you may need to do it twice.) I believe Gravity Forms suggest that option for any version higher than

  6. Tom Nguyen on June 21, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for chiming in, Ian. Deactivating and reactivating Gravity Forms works, also. I’m going to add this method to the blog post.

  7. Simon on December 22, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks, Tom. I got fooled by the delay and, after a couple of attempts after I logged out, had the primary editor, who was locked out, clear her Chrome cache. 🙂

    Next time we’ll be more patient.

  8. Tom Nguyen on December 26, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Glad you got it sorted out, Simon!

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