Join Mark Abdelnour for an in-depth discussion in this video Overriding a user's checkout, part of SharePoint 2013 for Site Champions and Power Users.
In SharePoint, when users check your files. This means that no one else can edit the file until they check it back in. End users are typically really concerned that should a file be checked out by a user, and then that user disappears for an extended period. Say, they win the lottery, or go on a long vacation. How will anyone access the file when they need it? As a site champion or super-user with extended powers and permissions, you'll have the ability to override a checkout and ensure others can access the file when required.
The first question is always the same though, how do I know if a file is checked out in the first place and to who? Let's take a look at this document library here under Administration. I'm going to scroll through the list until we come to one that actually is checked out. And we can see right here a little green arrow on this word icon. What you'll see when a file is checked out is this little green symbol. And if you hover over the little green arrow, it'll tell you who it's checked out to.
So in this case, the file is checked out to me. And there's a second file here, if I hover over top of it. It also says that it's checked out to myself. On the far right, you'll also notice my name. If I scroll up to the top you'll see that this column is called Checked Out To, and it'll list who the file is checked out to so it acts exactly the same way as the green arrow. The only thing is, is that not all document libraries are configured or setup with a checked out to column. So if you don't have this column visible, then the only way you'll really know is by hovering over the green arrow.
I'm going to continue scrolling through this library until we find another checked out file and here's one here, checked out to Lee Gagne. So this is called sales invitation letter sample and if I hover over the green arrow, again it tells us it's checked out to Lee. I'd like to override Lee's checkout, assuming he's gone on vacation and people need to access the file. To do this, we first must select the file. Now selecting and opening are two different things.
To open the file, I'd simply click on the file name. But what I really want to do is select the file. To select any file, you simply hover over its file name. And you'll notice that a blue bar appears highlighting the row. And then when you've done that, you'll see on the left a little check mark. If you click on the check mark, that file is now selected. In order to override this checkout, we need to go to the Office ribbon bar at the top of your window. And here, you'll see three tabs. Browse, Files and Library.
Because we're working with the file, we'll click on the Files tab. And here, all sorts of tools and functionality that applied a working with files appears. And the option that we want to click on is Check In. Here we get a Check In window. And we can also include comments. Now if you think about this comments field, you could skip it because it is optional. But it's a great feature. This allows to now let Lee know that we've overridden his check out and for what reason.
So I'm going to go ahead and click within this box and start typing. So overwriting your checkout since you are away. Now, Lee will be able to see this comment should he check the version history on the file, when he comes back from his vacation. So, I am going to go ahead and click OK. And this is the important message. It's pretty much confirming that we do want to indeed override his checkout. So there's the question, do you want to override this checkout now? I'll go ahead and click OK.
The file has now been overriding and is checked back into the library for others to use. You know, scroll through this document library and locate the file that we just overwrote. It's closer to the bottom and if you recall, it was called Sales Invitation Letter-Sample. And it was originally checked out to Lee So, you can see that the green arrow no longer appears. You will also notice that his name does not appear in this far right column. Now with that said should Lee return from vacation and notice that his file is checked in, he could simply come to this little check mark, select the file, return to the office ribbon bar, and in this case click on Version History.
So that too is found under the Files tab. And then clicking on Version History, will show Lee that comment that we included earlier. It will also show who did the override. And on what date. So we'll go ahead and close this window. And conclude by saying this whole override feature is a very important one but not one to be done arbitrarily. If you think through exactly how it works, when we overrode these changes or overrode his checkout what's happened is is that we've actually discarded his checkout.
Which means any edits that Lee had done up until the point that I've overwritten his checkout would be lost. The file would return to its pre-checked out state which was the original file that Lee had checked out in the first place. I typically recommend that strict governance rules be developed with respect to this override feature to ensure it's used wisely within your organization.
- Creating a document library
- Overriding checkouts
- Deleting and restoring files
- Setting and managing alerts
- Working with multiple files
- Editing and deleting columns in a list or library
- Setting permissions
- Adding and modifying web parts
- Creating popular views