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Checked Out Documents SharePoint On-Line

Currently, we are working on a SharePoint project that was started by another SharePoint consultant.  The overall problem was that their checked-out documents could not be seen by other SharePoint Users.

When this client used the ‘Folder Explore’ option to copy files to SharePoint, the system would check the document out, but it would not be visible to other users unless they went to the library settings to view checked-out documents.

This was the previous configuration:

  • They had many Library’s in their SharePoint environment
  • that required Meta Data. Because of the environment,
  • the Users wanted to use the ‘Folder Explorer’ option to upload documents because it was more efficient.

The primary problem is that using the ‘Folder Explorer’ option or the ‘Folder Sync’ tool to upload documents does not prompt the User for the required metadata.  This is a SharePoint limitation.  The result of uploading documents using this method forces a checkout of the document as it should, but with a .1 version number.

Technically, Users with the right permissions such as the ‘Override List Behaviors,’ should be able to see the checked-out documents in the library.  Although Microsoft claims this to be standard functionality within SharePoint, for compliance reasons, I didn’t agree and did a test myself.  When I ran my test, I noticed that although the metadata column was not required, it was still checked-out if we uploaded the document using the ‘Folder Explorer’ option. This was confusing to me.

In my SharePoint environment, to fix all of the above problems, I did the following:

  1. I created two Users with the ‘Override List Behaviors’ security options.
  2. I made the Metadata column not required.
  3. I then created a workflow that tested to see if the Metadata column contained a value. If it did not contain a value, the workflow would check it in and then check it out.
  4. To test my workflow, I uploaded a document to SharePoint using the ‘Folder Explorer’ option.

After I completed the steps above, the Users could see the checked-out document.  I reported my findings back to Microsoft. They were perplexed at my findings and are trying to find out a reason why this was happening.

If you are experiencing the same situation in your SharePoint online environment, this could be a solution.

Please contact KTL Solutions today to get more information on Tim’s new findings, his test results, and to get help in fixing your problem. You can reach KTL Solutions by email at or by phone at 301.360.0001.

[avatar user=”tlally” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” /] TIMOTHY (TIM) LALLY, SR. | CEO/ Founder

Tim Lally, Sr. is the founder and CEO of KTL Solutions, a full technology consulting firm. As CEO, Tim is responsible for running all facets of the business including, but not limited to, mentoring new developers, teaching accounting principles and processes, and leading the development and design of custom solutions. Tim also works directly with clients promoting lasting relationships, analyzing business processes, and providing effective solutions to improve productivity. He provides high-level guidance to KTL clients in order to help them better use technology within their organization.

With a proven, executive track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales, consulting, and development within the technology industry, Tim’s specific experience has been with Microsoft Business Solutions’ software implementation and development. Tim started implementing MAC GP in 1987 and has been working in Microsoft Dynamics GP since 1994. Tim is an inactive Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from University of Maryland.

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