Bulk Check In for SP2010 Files with No Version Info

SharePoint best practice is to disable “require check in” on document libraries before doing a large bulk import of documents. I received an email from a customer last week, who had not followed this best practice and had over 35,000 documents checked out, which no one but he could see.

Unlike checked out documents with previous check in version(s), a newly uploaded document is not visible by anyone but the person who uploaded the file, even administrators. Fortunately, SharePoint provides a way for an admin to take ownership of these documents via “Manage checked out documents” in the library settings. However, when dealing with a document count that exceeds the default threshold of 10,000, SharePoint returns an error. Temporarily increasing the threshold gets around the error, but then the user interface becomes intolerably slow.

Even after taking ownership, then there’s the task of bulk check in, which is again, a slow process via the UI for large item count document libraries. What I wanted was a PowerShell script to both take ownership of the documents and then check them in. Below is the server-side script I created….

Note: I had to use server-side and not client-side PowerShell because CSOM does not expose checked out files method. The script was tested on SharePoint 2010.

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue;

function BulkCheckIn {
$folder.Files | ? { $_.CheckOutStatus -ine "None" } | % {
Write-Host $_.ServerRelativeUrl;
$_.CheckIn("Initial check in", [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPCheckinType]::MajorCheckIn);
$folder.SubFolders | % { BulkCheckIn -folder $_; }

$site = Get-SPSite http://mysitecollection/;
$web = $site.OpenWeb('subsite/subsite');
$lib = $web.Lists['Documents'];
$lib.CheckedOutFiles | % {
Write-Host "Processing $($_.Url)";
BulkCheckIn -folder $lib.RootFolder;