Home > Bugs & Workarounds, SharePoint 2007 > File Checkout Issue: The file ‘path/file’ is not checked out

File Checkout Issue: The file ‘path/file’ is not checked out


When you try to check out a file in document library, the operation fails with error “The file ‘path/file’ is not checked out”.

Generally the error is with [short term] file locks and can be resolved with the steps below. There are also other scenarios where this might happen, see following section

File Locked Out

  • Check if the file is not checked out to any user
  • Open the site in SharePoint designer, and navigate to your document.
  • 9 times out of 10 you will see a lock symbol against the document, implying a document lock, even when the file is not checked out.

  • Right click the document, click properties and select Summary tab. You will get the name of the user against whom the file is locked under Checked out by.

  • Get hold of the person mentioned above. The actions below need to be done by that user on their machine.
  • If the file is still open, close it down.
  • Navigate to the site and try to check out the file.
  • Open the file from site and close it
  • Navigate to the site and discard the checkout
  • Hopefully this should release the file lock. You can verify this by refreshing your site in SharePoint designer and the lock should have gone away.

Version Limit Exceeded

SharePoint has a way of coming up with incorrect error messages. I have seen the same error message on file checkout even when the file was not locked out to anyone.

Just on a hunch, I disabled ‘Require documents to be checked out’ under Document Library Versioning Settings and tried again. This time the correct error message J

This makes complete sense, for a change! SharePoint supports only 511 minor versions, and the document in question had 511 minor versions already.

Unfortunately deleting older versions won’t help; apparently, because SharePoint does not re-order existing version numbers, and the next version number would still end up being 512, which falls outside the limit.

Your only solution in this case is to publish a major version.

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