“Allow editing” is grayed out when sharing in SharePoint

Earlier this week I had a head scratching issue from a power user at a customer. The goal was to set up a new library, but when people wanted to share files, the “Allow editing” button was grayed out and not clickable.

no “Allow editing” functionality

Wow. That is weird! Even for “specific people”, we couldn’t create a link to an editable document. My first thought was that this had something to do with permissions, but after checking those, everything looked normal.

What about something weird on site level? But another document library on the same site didn’t have the issue. So it had to be something in the document library. A quick browse through the advanced didn’t give me more insight. What would have an impact on people not being able to share a link where one could get a link to an editable version of the document?

Maybe it was something with versioning? And when I opened up the versioning settings I found the culprit..

Require check out

The power user had turned on “Require check out” functionality because that was thought in the training and the company had some issues before with people overriding eachothers files apparantly.

When I turned it off, the “Allow editing” box was back to normal and could be clicked on! Pfew..

Check out / Check in used to be the SharePoint functionality to make sure you alone could edit a document. While it is no longer needed (if you still have a business case for this, let me know!), the document library setting is still there.

Now I am off to teach that power user how to properly do co-editing and never have that same issue ever again!

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

%d bloggers like this: