I don't see a way to unlock a record that is locked by approval process.IsLocked flag is not accessible through api.Is there any way to do this.

3 Answers 3


As of Winter '16, this is now possible through APEX. (Release Notes)

It can be enabled by going to Setup > Create > Workflow & Approvals > Process Automation Settings :

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As mentioned in other answers, this feature is now possible out of the box as of Winter '16.

Original Answer

not out of the box.

What we did in a client project was:

  1. Create RecordLockStatus__c picklist field with valuess [UNLOCKED, IN_APPROVAL, LOCKED]
  2. Create UnlockToken__c text field
  3. Create an approval process with entry criteria RecordLockStatus__c='LOCKED' and UnlockToken__c = ?SEMI_SECRET_TOKEN? to prevent accidental unlock and sets RecordLockStatus__c='UNLOCKED' and UnlockToken__c=NULL. Make sure to set the approval's order to 1.
  4. For all your other approvals make sure that you set RecordLockStatus__c= 'IN_APPROVAL' when entering the approval and RecordLockStatus__c='LOCKED' when locking the record on finish
  5. To unlock your record query it (make sure RecordLockStatus__c='LOCKED') and submit for approval using Apex http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/apexcode/index_Left.htm#StartTopic=Content/apex_process.htm

hope that helps


Apex doesn't expose any class/method to unlock a record. There are only two ways a record can be unlocked that is locked by the approval process.

  • The 'Final Approval Action' of the process does have the feature to unlock a record.
  • A button labelled 'Unlock record' will be visible (only)to system administrators and only they can unlock a record locked by an approval process.

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