Applies to: SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet, SharePoint Online Small Business.
One way to manage document collaboration is to mandate check-out of files, especially when several users have access to the library. If a library checkout is made necessary, other people cannot revise it. However, you run the risk of blocking other people from viewing the newest changes or applying changes themselves. If others must work on the document, it is vital that files are checked back in quickly.
Note: Don’t configure your library to require checkout if people plan to co-author documents in the library. People cannot work simultaneously on documents when required check-out is turned on.
Office 2016, 2013
Require check-out of files for editing
Note: Only people who have Full Control or Design permissions can set up libraries to require check-out of files.
- Find your ideal library to work in.
- Click Settings > Library Settings. If you these menu items aren’t noticeable to you, click Library on the ribbon, and in the Settings group, choose Library settings.
- On the Settings page, below General Settings, click Versioning settings.
- In the Require Check Out section, beneath Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited?, pick Yes.
- To save your settings and go back to the Library Settings page, press OK.
What happens when check-out is required in a library?
|If you do this …||This is what happens…|
|Create or add a file to a library||The file is initially checked out to you. You must check it into the library before others can see it and work with it.|
|Open a file for editing|| The file is automatically checked out to you when you click Edit. A message box alerts you that you are about to check out the file and offers you the opportunity to edit it in your local drafts folder.|
After check-out, the file icon is covered with a green, downward-pointing arrow, indicating that the file is now checked out. No one else can change the file, and no one else can see your changes, while you have it checked out.
|Make changes to the information about the file (the properties)||If the file is not already checked out to you, you must check it out before you can make changes to its properties, such as its title, author name, due date, word count, and so on. Your changes will not take effect until you check the file back in.|
|Try to open a file that is checked out to someone else|| The Check Out and Check In options are unavailable. You cannot check out a file that someone else has checked out. If you attempt to do so, a message will let you know that the file is checked out by someone else. |
You can, however, find out who has the file by hovering over the file icon. The name of the person who has checked it out is displayed in a tooltip. Then, you can contact that individual to request check-in of the file if you need it quickly.
|Check the file in||You are prompted to enter a comment about the changes you made. If your library tracks versions, your comment becomes part of the version history. If both major and minor versions are tracked, you are prompted to choose which type of version you are checking in. Look in the See Also section of this article to find more information about versioning.|
|Keep the file checked out for a long time||No one else can see your changes or edit the file while you have it checked out. While this is helpful during the time you are making changes, it may also prevent others from performing their assigned tasks. It is both good business practice and common courtesy to check the file back in as quickly as possible after you check it out. In some circumstances, an administrator may have to force a check-in of the file.|