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How to Check-out and Check-in Documents

Celeste Scott -

When you wish to edit a document that has been uploaded, it is a SharePoint best practice to use the check-out process. Checking out the document is not a necessary step for working on a document, but it is recommended because taking this step will prevent other users from interfering with your work by making sure that only one user is working on a document at a time.

Note: Powerusers have the ability to check in any document to their document library, even if another user was the one who checked it out. We recommend consulting with the user who checked out the document first so the Poweruser does not inadvertently lose another user's work. But, in some cases it may be necessary to override another user’s checkout because they are away from the office or have left the team.

To view and download a PDF, scroll to the bottom of this article.

 

How to use the Check In/Out Feature

Step 1

To check out a document, locate the document in your library and click the checkbox next to the document title. Then, click on the “Files” tab in the ribbon. Select "Check Out", as shown below.

Step 2

A “Checked Out” icon (a green downward facing arrow on top of the application icon) appears to the left of the document name in the document list until you check the item back in.

Step 3

After you select "Check Out", click on "Edit Document" button in the ribbon. Or, click on the name of the file in the document list. This will open up the document and you can work on it.

 

Step 4

When you're finished working on the document, check the document back in so another user can work on it. As before, locate the document in your library and click the checkbox next to the document title. Then, click on the “Files” tab in the ribbon. Select "Check In", as shown below.

Step 5

You will get the prompt below, which will allow you to leave comments about the changes you made to the document while you had it checked out. It is optional to leave comments, but if you do, they will appear in the Version History of the document.

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