People unable to access documents you’ve uploaded to a Document Library

One of my business customers reported a strange issue. He had two document libraries where there were documents that he could see, but no one else could. I went in, expecting that I could see them since I had administrator access.  There were invisible for me also. Strange…

After doing some research, I found it had to do with uploaded documents that were missing required fields:

Here’s part of the post with the important parts noted:

Here’s the scenario: we have a new SharePoint site with a document library where there are several required columns and one of those fields is a Person field so therefore, it can’t have a default value.  A user uploads multiple documents to the library for the first time and since at least one required column value is missing, all of the new documents enter in a checked out state.  Note that the option to require check out is not enabled.  I’m the Site Collection Administrator and the user tells me that she’s uploaded several documents and wants to be sure she did it correctly so she asks me to check.

 I open the document library and see no documents in the default view I know they are there because we are sitting next to each other at a conference table and I can clearly see all 5 documents in her view on her laptop.  Since I’m the all knowing, all powerful Site Collection Administrator, I would assume that I could see her documents, even if they are checked out to her.  But, guess what?  I can’t.  At least not until I navigate to Document Library Settings, Managed Checked Out Files.  The only way I can see these documents in a list view is if I assume control of the documents and transfer ownership to me.  When I do that, I get to see the documents but, of course, now the user who uploaded them can’t see them until I enter the required column values and check them in.  I tried the same scenario logging in with a System Account, which should trump the Site Collection Admin in terms of privileges, and even the System Account can’t see the documents without digging in to the List Settings for the Document Library.  So, Microsoft, “what were you thinking?”

The problem is that there were two required fields in his document library. When he first uploaded the documents, those required fields were missing. As such, they loaded to the library, but they were in a checked-out state to where only he could see them. If he went into the documents, added the required fields, and then checked in the documents, they were viewable by everyone.

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