Co-authoring Documents in SharePoint Online

In SharePoint Online, the co-authoring feature allows multiple users to work on a document simultaneously. It will show who is editing and their instant changes.

This SharePoint tutorial will explain all about Co-authoring documents in SharePoint Online.

SharePoint Online Co-authoring

SharePoint’s co-authoring feature enables multiple users to collaborate on documents simultaneously. This collaborative feature allows real-time editing, making it easy for team members to contribute, review, and make changes together.

Here are a couple of things to know more information about Co-authoring:

  • Co-authoring supports documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint like Word, PowerPoint, Excel sheets, etc.
  • The SharePoint administrators and members with edit permissions can only access the co-authoring documents.
  • By default, co-authoring permission is enabled in the SharePoint document library.
  • When one user is editing a document, others can see their changes instantly, which fosters efficient teamwork and reduces version control issues.

Co-authoring Documents in SharePoint Online

Let’s see how to work with SharePoint Online document co-authoring.


Here, I have a SharePoint document library as Project Documents.

This library contains the Smart Waste Management System folder. I have created Word, Excel, and PPT in that folder, as shown in the screenshot below.

co-authoring in sharepoint

I will show how co-authoring works in different types of documents.

  • Co-authoring will show who is editing that SharePoint document with their names. Also, it will immediately show instant changes made by editors.
  • You can view all the members who have edited the document in the top corner of your document.

For example, open the Excel file. Here, you can view the editor’s details and the changes made by editors in the SharePoint document, as shown in the screenshot below.

co-authoring documents in sharepoint online

If you open PowerPoint, you can see how co-authoring works in PowerPoint in the screenshot below.

co-authoring documents in sharepoint

Similarly, by opening a Word document, you can observe how co-authoring works in the Word document shown in the screenshot below.

co-authoring in sharepoint online

This is how co-authoring works in various SharePoint documents. Now, I will show how to disable co-authoring in SharePoint Online.

Disable Co-authoring in SharePoint Online

By default, the co-authoring feature is enabled in SharePoint Online; if you want to disable the SharePoint co-authority feature, follow these steps to achieve it.

  • Click on the Settings icon -> Library settings -> More library settings option.
sharepoint co-authoring in document library
  • Under General settings, click on the Versioning settings option.
disable co-authoring in sharepoint online
  • In that versioning settings, go to the Require Check Out option. It is in enable mode by default, so click the Yes option to disable it. Then click the OK button.
how to disable co-authoring in sharepoint online
  • Now, the SharePoint co-authoring feature is disabled. So, the document is opened in Read-only mode, and no one can edit it.
  • Once the co-authoring feature is disabled, opening the document for editing will display a read-only(This workbook was opened in read-only mode) notification on the SharePoint document page. Use the screenshot below as a reference.
co-authoring documents in modern sharepoint

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In this tutorial, I explained the co-authority feature and showed how co-authoring features work in various documents, and how to disable the co-authoring feature in SharePoint Online.

I trust you will find this article beneficial.