Imagine a scenario when User A opens a word (.docx) document from a document library (Ent SharePoint 2013). Office Web Apps server then generates the document via the browser. User A then decides he/she wants to "Edit in Word" using their client application (Office 2016). MS Word pops up and everything is fine. User A can now begin editing the document.

Now, along comes User B. He/She decides they need to edit that same document. Clicks to open the document from the document library and proceeds to try and "Edit in Word" on their own client application as well. Then gets a message:

enter image description here

Now, I am aware of the 10 min lockout that Windows SharePoint Services puts on the document:



"When a document is opened by a client program, Windows SharePoint Services puts a write lock on the document on the server. The write lock times out after 10 minutes. Users cannot modify the document during the time when the document is locked."

But, I need confirmation. Does this mean that there are no Co-authoring capabilities when a document within SharePoint is opened to the client application? Co-authoring works perfectly fine in when both User A and User B utilize Office Web Apps, but why not in the client application?

Normally, I would assume the statement above clearly states that "When a document is opened by a client program, Windows SharePoint Services puts a write lock on the document on the server." is enough to prove this to the users. But, some of my users are adamant co-authoring within the client application from SharePoint did work at one point in time.

Please help confirm or deny this. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


It looks like the library has Check out and Check in turned on. For co-authoring to work you will need to turn off that functionality. You can still keep version history. In co-authoring there should be no write locks unless the document is checked out.

  • Thanks, Kenneth. The check out and check in feature is actually turned OFF with versioning enabled. In troubleshooting, I must have done something as I am now able to co-author from my machine using my admin credentials and my standard work account now but my colleagues and customers are still not able to co-author on documents opened in their client applications.
    – user51488
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 19:43
  • Great Job! Happy you were able to get this figured out... Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.