Disable co-authoring at document library level (SPO)?

Frequent Contributor


As the title reads, is there a way of turing off co-authoring at document library level? At the moment the technology is causing some major headaches for users and it would be good to be able to toggle it off until issues are resolved.




12 Replies
best response confirmed by Trevor Seward (MVP)

If you modify the library to require checkout that should disable co-authoring. Library settings- Versioning Settings - Require checkout.


It does require some discipline on the users to check the documents back in.

Require Check out works but yeah definitely will cause more problems. What issues are you having? I'd just change your document libraries to use client instead of browser when opening office documents. Unless all your users are on ProPlus this will also keep co-auth from happening because Office client will lock the documents. If you are all on the latest builds with Auto save in the client, then you can tell your users to turn off auto save, this will also lock the documents (turn off coauth). Might be a way to Group policy that, but not sure if there is a new Group policy tools that include that setting or not yet.

Thanks for the reply.  I don't want to go down the check out process, bring back memories of SPS2003 which were dark days! :) 


Interesting comment re forcing the documents to open in the client rather than the browser, I'll look into that one.  Didn't know the co-authoring was dependant on Auto-save being enabled, I've got some registry edits to switch auto-save off so I might also give that a go.


The issue, latency on the OD syncing.  For example two people editing a Excel sheet, within the desktop client.  The first user finishes what they are doing and saves and exits.  The second user can't save their changes until the sync has happened from the first users PC to SharePoint, this can take minutes and during this time the second user is getting some horrible messages about loosing their changes etc.   Finally the sync will complete and the second users computer will get the sync update and then they are able to save.  I thought it was a broadband issue but that seems to be coping ok (monitored the link utilisation).  It looks like it's down to the spec of the PCs vs the amount of items that OneDrive is handling.  This is the new Windows 10 1709 OneDrive client so the majority of the files are cloud only but there are over 100k items in this particular document library.

Well this isn't an issue with Co-Authoring, seems to be a case for it :P. What office client's are editing these documents? Technically you shouldn't be able to open the same document, and usually when you do open a file via OneDrive if you have an online connection it should open it via the Web not from your local storage. I got a feeling you need to get office apps updated cause co-auth would be better in this situation, and even if not for co-auth the later office clients usually know to open the file direct from SharePoint and not locally unless your offline. .
oh, that amount of files isn't really supported yet either if you are syncing the entire library that is what you issue is possibly as well. I remember sitting in a session at Ignite talking about anything over a certain amount would cause issues. I would check office versions first, but syncing larger libraries is an issue, may still need to use selective sync to limit what's coming to the client to process.

Worth noting, I wouldn't ever recommend enabling force checkout on a OneDrive library, that's a whole other beast.


Is the OneDrive structure flat or nested folders?. That volume of documents in a flat structure is definitely going to cause issues.

Think he just means OneDrive client :P. But yeah I would agree with that statement if it was OneDrive library being synced, but he says SharePoint, either way, using Checked out is bad juju all around unless there is a very specific use case for it.

Right now best bet is Office client so it opens up direct and not local. If those are up to date then def. look into limiting synced file count.

Thanks for the replies, although things did go off on a tangent there :)   Just for info, if a library is sync'd using the new "files on demand" function and the document isn't currently available offline, as soon as you open it from SharePoint (browser) it gets sync'd to the PC.


I take the note about max item count, I'd like to hear the official line from MS regarding max item count with the new "files on demand" client and if the maximum items is all the items or just the offline items.


@Rob Clarke This issue may or may not have been resolved by you in the meantime however they do support it (now)

@sysadmin1515I don't think that applies to SP Online

perhaps @ErkanCh but would altering the gpo not apply to the desktop applications?