If I open a file for editing using the dropdown menu and selecting "Edit in " and then immediately close that file without making any changes or saving it, SharePoint does not prompt me to check that document back in.

Is there any way (maybe through Group Policy) to force SharePoint to always prompt a user to check in the document they're closing if it's currently checked out to them?

  • What version of SharePoint are you using? Are you referring to Office docs specifically or documents in general? If Office, what version of Office are you using?
    – Rob D'Oria
    Aug 11, 2011 at 22:23
  • @Rob D'Oria - SharePoint 2010, Office documents specifically, and I'm using Office 2010 but most of the office is on 2007 still.
    – newuser
    Aug 12, 2011 at 13:17
  • @RobD'Oria - Any update?
    – newuser
    Oct 26, 2011 at 17:19
  • Phil,.where should I enter that code?
    – user22278
    Jul 19, 2017 at 20:06

4 Answers 4


This is default behavior and I don't think there is a way to prompt user on closing. There are simply no options to send information back to Sharepoint that document is closed.

The only option would be to integrate some custom logic into the application responsible for document handling, but I think it is not worthwhile.


Since there are most likely no options to prompt user on document closing you can explore some alternatives. Maybe using some different approaches to notify users like writing custom TimerJob that periodically sends emails with list of checked out documents or including Content query or custom webpart on welcome page listing all checked out documents for current user.

  • What about something through Group Policy that would target MS Office applications?
    – newuser
    Aug 12, 2011 at 19:02
  • 1
    Group Policy would be option if there is some setting in Office applications to force check in. I am not aware that setting like this exist. Wait for @RobD'Oria - maybe he has some better idea. Aug 12, 2011 at 19:48
  • @JonnyP - a little update on my side. To win even half bounty with this answer is kind of depressing Mar 6, 2012 at 21:46
  • Upvoted for your web part idea. That might be the next best thing to what I actually want.
    – newuser
    Mar 12, 2012 at 13:00

If users aren't attentive enough to know to check back in a document, then the check-in/check-out feature will hurt your group more than help it. I would suggest turning forced checkout upon edit OFF to avoid confusion and throw them to the dogs...

Also, have you checked out Office Web Apps? Maybe you can force them to edit files inside of the browser and that will be more intuitave to the average user to check a file back in.

  • What are the ramifications of turning off forced checkout? I don't understand why that's even an option, really. Also I don't want to restrict my users to making changes with the browser. It's slow and not what they're use to, so it will be a bigger headache than training them to remember to check a document in.
    – newuser
    Feb 28, 2012 at 18:56
  • Office Web Apps have a multiple edit feature that multiple users can edit the same file at the same time. Turning off multiple edit will remove a step of having users check in documents. If they just edit without checking out the document, whenever the document is out of edit-mode, SharePoint will release the lock on it.
    – Mike
    Mar 1, 2012 at 17:34

You could add an "itemUpdating" and "itemAdding" event receiver to the library. Then in code you can compare values and if no changes were done, automatically check in the file in code.

Event Receivers: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg252010.aspx SPFile.CheckIn: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms467428.aspx

  • And what if user do absolutely nothing after document checkout? Event receiver will not fire. Mar 6, 2012 at 21:35
  • Yes, point taken. Mar 7, 2012 at 1:30

I have run into this same problem on our network when people forget to check in a document because they didn't make any changes. They will then leave for the day with a checked out document.

I applied a simple Macro to help solve this issue. It's set to run as soon as the document opens and to change a cell (by adding a space) so that the User will always get a Save prompt when they close, which helps them to remember it needs to be checked back in.

Here's the code I used:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = " "
End Sub

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