About document check out and check in

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

Some shared folders or document libraries require that you check out a file to work on it and then check it back in when your changes are complete. Checking out the file ensures that others cannot make changes to the document while you're editing it. You can check out and check in the document from either the document library or a Microsoft Office application. Other users won't see your changes until your check the file back in.

Document check out

When you check out a document, other users cannot edit the document or see your changes to the document.If you later decide to check in the document without saving your changes, you can use the Discard changes and undo check out option on the Check In page. You lose any changes made while you checked out the document. The document reverts to the last checked-in version, and no version history is kept for the unsaved changes.

Document check in

When you check in a document, other users who can access the document library can see and edit the document. Additionally, your changes to the document are visible to those users. You have the following options when checking in a document:

  • Check in document

  • Check in changes saved to this document, but keep the document checked out

  • Discard changes and undo check out