How To Remove "Use My Local Drafts Folder" Checkbox

Lots of customers I work with establish a requirement that files must be ‘checked out’ from SharePoint before they can be edited. This prevents multiple users from overwriting one another’s changes to files. The “check-out and check-in” functionality is a widely used in SharePoint and is just one of the many Enterprise Content Management features available in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007. For detailed steps on how to configure check-out and check-in functionality, please see the articles for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007

For those who are familiar with the concept, you’ll know that when you check-out a file from a document library a dialog box appears asking if you want to “Use your local drafts folder” to temporarily store the file:

If the checkbox (shown in red, above) is selected, when you check-out a file it will place it on your local client/pc in My Documents. The other day a customer asked me how to disable/remove the “Use My Local Drafts Folder” checkbox that appears when checking out a document. They wanted to stop users storing documents locally.  Steps on how to do this are below.

How to use DisableLocalDrafts SharePoint project ( tested for SharePoint 2007 )

Please note that this is provided as a guided customization. It is not an official fix but it is an example of a customization that may provide some relief to the issue you are reporting. It is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. And as with all customizations, the original code files should not be modified. If you choose to use the provided example you become responsible for the customization and are responsible for thoroughly testing this before putting it into a production environment.

The DisableLocalDrafts SharePoint project is for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and has not yet been tested with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.  This project uses delegate controls to deploy a link to a custom JavaScript file to every page.  It does this by adding a UserControl to the AdditionalPageHead delegate control which is included in the OOTB master pages in SharePoint.  This is a Farm level solution.


Build Instructions

The DisableLocalDrafts SharePoint project was built using Visual Studio 2010 and WSP Builder 1.4.  The project should be opened with VS 2010 and can be compiled without WSP Builder.  However, to rebuild the WSP file, WSP builder will be needed or the developer can create the WSP manually.  This text does not cover how build WSP files by hand

Deploy Instructions:

1. Copy the compiled DisableLocalDrafts.wsp file to a server in the SharePoint farm

2. Open a command prompt ( elevated if running on Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 ) on a server in the SharePoint farm

3. Path to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12\bin

4. Type the following command and press enter:
a. stsadm -o addsolution –filename <path to the wsp file>

5. Once completed, open Central Administration and click on the Operations tab

6. Click the link for Solution Management

7. Click the DisableLocalDrafts.wsp link and choose the Deploy Solution option

8. Choose a particular web application or deploy to all

9. Installation complete

Note: SharePoint will render the pages correctly even when an error occurs in the control.  Use the ULS logs for troubleshooting if the desired effect is not seen.

Files included:

  • DisableLocalDrafts.csproj :  Visual Studio project file                                                                                  
  • DisableLocalDrafts.snk : Signing key used to sign the project’s assembly                                                                                               
  • DisableLocalDrafts.wsp: Compiled working copy of the SharePoint solution that can be deployed.                                                                                              
  • SolutionID.txt :  ID of the SharePoint solution created. Include this file when building using WSP Builder                                                                                   
  • DisableLocalDrafts.dll:  Assembly built from the project
  • DisableLocalDrafts.pdb : Program database file used in debugging                                                                                        
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Search.dll : Assembly added by WSP Builder                                                                                  
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Search.xml : File added by WSP Builder                                                                                       
  • AssemblyInfo.cs : Assembly information for the project                                                                                                
  • DisableLocalDraftsUserControl.ascx :  User control used to place entry to customcore.js file on each page                                                                     
  • DisableLocalDraftsUserControl.ascx.cs                                        
  • DisableLocalDraftsUserControl.ascx.designer.cs                                              
  • elements.xml                           
  • feature.xml                                                                                                           
  • customcore.js  :  Javascript file that overrides a method in CORE.js and is used to disable the Local Drafts check box

I must give a big thanks to Tim Quinlan who shared the above code and steps.  

This article was authored by:


James Kemp
SharePoint Architecture Consultant
Microsoft Consulting Services UK

Click here to see my bio page

Comments (7)

  1. Eric J. says:

    What will happen if a user has a currently checked out document stored locally when this is deployed? Will they be able check it in normally?

  2. ukpoint says:

    Hi Eric,

    Good question. I haven't yet tried that scenario. I would *guess* that it would pick up the file from the local drafts folder as we're not altering the upload/check-in behaviour. Please let me know if you test this and find out.



  3. Steve Cheese says:

    that's awesome!

  4. Ajay says:

    It's not working in sharepoint 2010 … r u sure there is no another way to do this 2010 ?

  5. Helper Class says:

    My users are confused by "Use my local drafts folder" in SP2010.  

    We really need a way to suppress this checkbox.  

  6. Jacques says:

    How can i Remove the check ou and check in function on my sharepoint site

  7. AdamKWatts says:

    The desire to disable this feature is probably due to a misunderstanding of what exactly this does. Use (or not) of this folder does not affect document version control in any way.

    It means that while you have the document checked out, Word will save your changes locally instead of over your net connection. As soon as you check the document in, the local copy is automatically deleted.

    If you are NOT using a local drafts folder:

    1. then all saves and autosaves are done over the network to the server cache.

    Seems pretty innocuous on the surface, right? But it's not.

    2. This results in taking longer for saves and autosaves.  

    Okay, not great … but how bad can that be? It depends on the size of the document and of course the number of documents open at that time.

    3. It also means that if you have any connectivity issues you run the risk of word crashing and you lose all your work since check-out.

    Yikes! And keep in mind for those with multiple documents open, when one doc crashes in Word, they all do.

    As a contractor and technical writer, I've had it happen a number of times at different locations and different SP implementations. Especially with larger, complex documents, Word can become unstable. Handling documents over a network; Word can become unstable. Lesson learned: ALWAYS use a local drafts folder. Then if Word crashes you will have your last save in your local folder, and maybe something useful in autorecovery (less likely when working from the server cache). You can open your document from there and not lose your work, or at least not much of it.

    If opening from that location doesn't show the option from within the file to check it in, use the upload feature with "add as a new version to existing files" option and check it in that way. This preserves your version history and you just saved all the work that would have been lost had you not been using a local draft folder.

    Even Microsoft recommends usign the local drafts folder, and not just once but on two consecutive pages:…/sharepoint-document-libraries-ii-all-about-checkout-RZ010234545.aspx…/sharepoint-document-libraries-ii-all-about-checkout-RZ010234545.aspx

    Though they don't do it in terms that talks about Word crashing.

    Users are confused?

    Tell them it's just a way to help reduce network traffic.

    Tell them it's a way to protect their changes before they check the file back in.

    Tell them it helps to reduce crashes.

    Tell them it is a way to shorten interruptions of their work when Word does an autosave.

    Tell them Santa Clause will put coal in their stockings if they don't use it.

    Tell them whatever you have to tell them so they will go away feeling educated and secure AND will use a local drafts folder.

    Don't sacrifice security to pander to lack of training.