SharePoint: Use my local drafts folder


Update: In SharePoint 2007 the "Use my local drafts folder" checkbox was checked by default. In SharePoint 2010 and 2013 it is not checked by default. Turns out that this is an Office default and not a SharePoint default and can be changed from the Options screen of Word or Excel. See here for how to change this default: http://techtrainingnotes.blogspot.com/2013/03/sharepoint-change-default-for-my-local.html

When checking out a document SharePoint 2007 and later offers an option to automatically download a copy of the file to your local machine.


Selecting this option will download the file to your computer into a SharePoint Drafts folder inside of your My Documents folder.


When you later check in the document, SharePoint will automatically upload the file from the SharePoint Drafts folder. The file is also automatically deleted from the drafts folder. The file will also be deleted if you Discard the Checkout.


If you cancel the upload you will also cancel the check in.

So far, a very hand feature!


There is an unexpected side effect of the "Use my local drafts folder" option…

  • Check out a document with the Use my local drafts folder option
  • Later return to the library and download the document
  • Edit the downloaded file and then upload back to the library
  • When you later check in the file, the copy of the file downloaded to your drafts folder will be uploaded, overwriting your previously uploaded file!


What about Security?

Just something to think about… do your users know what's in their draft folders? Is there any content getting downloaded into laptops and forgotten about?




Kellie said...

How do i get the Use my local drafts folder check box to stay checked?

Mike Smith said...


There's no easy way to change the default for the checkbox. Is it possible? Yes, the dialog is displayed using some JavaScript and that could be intercepted. I'll put that on my things to do list...

FYI... In SP 2007 the default was to have the box checked, while in 2010 the default is unchecked.



Mike Smith said...


I found a way! Each user can set their preference by going to an Office application such as Word and:
- Click the Office Button
- Click Options
- Click Save
- Set "Save checked-out files to" to "The server drafts location on this computer"


Anonymous said...

I just noticed that in SP2013, when I checked out a document, it got saved to local drafts folder. Then when I tried to discard the check out using ribbon, it is not checking out the document neither it's showing any error message. But discarding check out using ECB menu worked fine. Please share if you have some ideas on it.

Raja Shekhar Reddy said...

Hi Mike,

This feature is not working for MS Office 2013. How to fix this issue for 2013?

Mike Smith said...

The "local drafts folder" option is no longer available in SharePoint 2013. (i.e., you are no longer prompted about it in SharePoint.)

In Word you can change the "Save checked-out files to" option in File, Option Save to "The server drafts location on this computer". It will then save to the drafts folder until you check it in from Word.

Thanks for the reminder! I need to update this article.


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