Can someone please tell me the significance of 'Lock/Unlock' button in Approval process.

I was just trying to create an Approval process on a Custom object as part of testing and did a very basic approval process. Once I submitted for approval and did all Approvals and now "Approval History" in related list Showing all change in status and can see the last status as "Approved".

But I can see "Unlock Record" on my detail page of record, I can able to Unlock it by pressing on it. But I couldn't understand the real scenario use of it. Can someone please help me to understand it correctly.enter image description here

3 Answers 3


First of all, you would only see the Locked/Unlock button if you're an administrator for that record (I'm pretty certain that would mean having Modify All on the object in your profile or a Permission set).

Approval processes are configurable so you can determine how to treat the record once an approval is complete no matter what the outcome (Approved/Rejected). Should it be locked when Approved? If rejected does it remain locked, or should it be unlocked to allow the user to modify values and re-initiate approval? These are all questions to be answered based on the business use case and rules that are to be followed for approving this type of record.

So why would you ever unlock a record that has been approved and left locked? Well...to be honest, I struggle myself to find the use case. But if there was ever a need to modify that record based on new data, and then re-initiate approval, in some business case, I suppose it would be supported.


The Approval process locks a record to prevent other users from modifying a record when that particular record is undergoing the approval process.

The stage at which a record is locked/unlocked can be defined when the approval process is created.

From your screenshot it looks like you haven't provided for the record to be unlocked once the approval is given. You may want to correct that.

For additional information on Approval process please follow the link Approval Process


Approval process locks the record, so that user should edit that record. Because that record is in Approval stage.


Your org has a three-tier process for approving expenses. This approval process automatically assigns each request to right person in your org, based on the amount requested.

  1. If an expense record is submitted for approval, lock the record so that users cannot edit it and change the status to Submitted.

  2. If the amount is $50 or less, approve the request. If the amount is greater than $50, send an approval request to the direct manager. If the amount is greater than $5,000 and the first approval request is approved, send an approval request to the vice president.

  3. If all approval requests are approved, change the status to Approved and unlock the record. If any approval requests are rejected, change the status to Rejected and unlock the record.

Reference Link

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