This particular issue has been driving me crazy in ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcPro and I was only able to find it listed alongside other concerns or related to enterprise geodatabases. Therefore, I created this post to highlight this specific issue and its presence across the platform.
Here are a couple of example scenarios:
I just made a copy of a file geodatabase feature class to a USB drive to transfer to another computer (that other computer does not have internet access). The new feature was added to the ArcPro project, creating a schema lock. I removed the new feature from the ArcPro project, but the schema lock to the USB drive remained. I was forced to shut-down ArcPro in order to get it to release the lock so I could "safely" remove the USB drive from the computer. There should be a way for me to get ArcPro to let go of the lock without closing the program.
I had two legacy ArcMap documents open that point to the same shapefile. I noticed a spelling error in an attribute that was initially included in both ArcMap documents, but was really only needed in one. I removed the data layer from the one where it was not needed, but ArcMap did not release this schema lock. I had to shut-down both ArcMap documents to get the schema lock released so I could fix the spelling error in the attribute table.
I noticed others have documented their frustration with similar problems in the Manage Schema Locks and Improve Arc Catalog Functionality forums, but I wanted to create this page to highlight the lack of a refresh option in the schema locks. I appreciate that SDE administrators now have the ability to remove schema locks, but what I'm asking for here is to be able to "refresh" the schema locks without shutting-down the program.