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November 09, 2021, 08:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PST)

Does it take an Admin to override Check Out?


Many years ago, before Modern/O365, Sharepoint could be a complete PITA.

You could Check Out a document, only to find that you couldn't Check In, as it was locked yourself.

You then had to contact a site admin to unlock it, so you could continue.


I haven't experienced this over the last few months, using Modern/O365, and thought the behaviour had finally been laid to rest.  However, I have just come off a team meeting, in which a colleague said that she had heard that it still occurs, and PMs are choosing to download a file, edit, and upload ....defeating the whole point of SHAREpoint.


I have had a little play in Teams, and it appears that Team owners are unable to check in a document that they did not Check Out.

This really surprises me, as it seems a fairly obvious function for a Team Owner (although, I have found very little difference between an Owner and Member permissions, which seems to be a huge flaw in the Teams Model).

Working in a company with a presence in different countries, the Admin function is at a much higher (dare I say, inaccessible) level.  IMO this is not a practical solution, and should be managed at a Team level.

NB I believe the Team Level equates to a role with Sharepoint Site privilege's, which is what I would expect Owners to have.


Can someone provide a categorical answer as to who is able to override Check Out?

NB Being a large organisation, I have no sight of the overall implementation of Modern O365.  If it is 'Admin', would you mind explaining what Admin is in this context?

3 Replies

@ChrizK Hi, a very brief answer to your question. But here goes. The whole "check out / check in" scenario is usually used when not wanting the built-in co-authoring which comes with O365. So you use the former when you want to make sure no one else can edit the object.


If a check out is made then an admin can discard the check out, as it's being locked for editing (for ex. if someone hasn't checked it back in and is unavailable).

Thanks for your response @ChristianBergstrom ,

I understand the concept of Checking, my question is more so, who/what is 'Admin'?

As discussed, I believe this should be a Team owner, but this does not appear to be the case.

Can a 'user' (I guess, as defined by Outlook/Exchange, or perhaps Active Directory?) become a site owner to perform this role?


The problem being, I have no sight of 'high level' Admin in a multi-national company.  Less so, as the IT function is not local.  In a world of amalgamation, this is obviously not uncommon, hence my point of view that a Team Owner should have the ability to Discard Check In.

I would appreciate an explanation of what Admin is in this regard, and if the Discard ability can be delegated to a 'mere user'.

I have half answered my question.  I have opened Library Settings > Manage Files which have no checked in version (you need to be viewing Documents to see Library Settings).  I was prompted to request permissions to view this option.  I thought this request would go to Global Admin, but strangely, it went to one of my colleagues.  I find this strange, as I thought I was listed as an owner of the site, but he accepted it, and I received an email "Administrator has responded to your request, Good news. You now have access to ...".

Now that I have access, I see a list of all Checked Out Files.  Instead of choosing to override checkout (check-in/discard), it appears I have to Take Ownership of a file.

I am guessing this takes ownership of the pending changes, rather than the last checked in file.  Not quite what I had in mind, but it is a workable solution.


This would answer my question, but I have since found a file that is locked by check out from SHAREPOINT/system.  This file is not shown in the list of Checked Out Files, and so I am trying to find a way to contact the elusive Global Admin.

NB the file is MP4, I can see properties of Duration, Bit Rate, but I cannot open in Teams as it is reported as having no content, and Chrome just says that the video can't be played.