With one of our customers, the large-scale construction projects with several thousand external participants in SharePoint, it happened again and again that users had unknowingly checked out documents. The reason for this is on the one hand unfilled mandatory fields, and on the other hand users, who do not notice the small green checkout symbol. Unfortunately, this can easily happen if you don’t work with SharePoint every day. A good overview and reasons can be found on the Microsoft page.

We therefore had the requirement to inform users:

  • You have checked out documents.
  • You must take action to check in your documents in SharePoint – so that they are accessible to others.

Solution

We decided to solve this requirement smarter and simpler. Namely, using a simple Powershell script that we attach to a task scheduler job and thus:

  • search the entire SharePoint platform once a day for checked-out documents,
  • Write them to a central SharePoint list (with information on which user checked out the file, in which library, and for which project):

SharePoint List of all checked-out documents

  • and then, based on this list, we send out one mail per user with all of its checked-out documents throughout SharePoint (cross-project).

If you have checked-out documents in SharePoint, you will receive an email once a day with links to the documents and ask you to check them in (because no one else can read them!)
personal email with all checked-out documents in SharePoint

User-friendly and time-efficient, we send this out as a link to the relevant element. This allows the user to see at a glance which data is missing and can also check in the document at once. The documents are available to everyone again.

In addition, we have added a few functionalities. For example, it is still checking whether the user still exists. If not, an administrator of the project is notified that they need to check these documents in to SharePoint.

Thus – Documents never checked out again in SharePoint

A simpler and smarter solution – do you have a similar requirement or are you interested in the solution? Then leave us a comment or just write us an email . We look forward to helping you so that you or your users love SharePoint!

Check out related solutions, such as Smarter Excel Export, Smarter Site Structure, or SharePoint Files with External (Anonymous) users (see here).