Overcoming the ‘Override Check Out’ SharePoint Blues

In response to an older post of mine, Best Practices for your SharePoint Document Library: Require Check-Out, I recently received a comment specifically regarding the Override Check-Out feature.

The question, as posed by mlotfe, asked:

“I’ve seen that when I check out a document, other users may discard this checkout. Is there any way to prevent this?”

I did a little poking around on my own but feeling the pressure of (mounting) other responsibilities, I threw a “Hail Mary” to the Patron Saint of SharePoint Blank, Jeff Kozloff himself, in the hopes of a speedy resolution to mlotfe’s query.  As is usually the case, Jeff came through in spades so I will turn it over to the Man himself.  Take it away, Jeff…

“This [behavior] is based on a specific right within the Permission Levels called Override Check Out.  In a default Team Site deployment (in SharePoint 2010), a default set of Permission Levels exists.

By default, any Permission Level below the Design does not possess the right to Override Check Out.  As you can see below, the Design level can Override Check Out by default.

At the Contribute level, one Permission Level is down from Design; however, the Override Check Out feature is not turned on by default.

The default SharePoint Groups are associated with Permission Levels.

Notice that if a user is a member of the [Site Name] Owners group, they are associated with the Permission Level Full Control, thus allowing them to override checkouts.  So I recommend that the user review their groups and see what Permission Levels are associated with them, and maybe even create custom permission levels that will match their needs more closely.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Jeff!

Please note that while Jeff’s response specifically addresses the Override Check Out issue in SharePoint 2010, I’d be willing to bet that the solution is highly similar (if not identical) to SharePoint 2007.

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