I came across a situation where I was uploading multiple documents into a SharePoint library using the multiple upload interface as well as the Explorer view. In both situations the documents would be uploaded, but they would all be checked out.
This is caused by two things:
1. You have at least one column in the library configured to be a required field.
In the case where multiple documents are uploaded, you are not prompted to fill in these required fields, as you normally would when uploading a single document. As a result the document is viewed as “incomplete” by SharePoint.
2. Under the library’s Version Settings, “Require Check Out” is set to “Yes”.
Even if the library has no required fields, if this value is set to true, your batch uploaded documents will be initially checked out.
The Right? Solution
Instinctively the proper solution would be to have a workflow trigger on item creation that simply checks in the document. However we run into a problem: Sharepoint will not initiate workflows on checked out items until they are checked in.
The Ghetto Solution
Configure your required fields to be optional. Add a default value to them to be applied to your newly uploaded items.
Set “Require Check Out” to “No” under Versioning Settings in the document library’s settings.
You can now do a batch upload of documents, and they will appear in you library as checked in. Any workflows you have that are triggered upon document creation will successfully run.
What makes this solution so ghetto is that you now have to go back into your document library settings and revert the changes you initially made. So set your fields back to being required, changing their default values if needed. And set “Required Check Out” back to its initial value.
In case you are worried, existing documents will not be affected by these changes to the settings. So documents that are already checked out, or have different field values will be safe. Your document library will behave just as it originally did, assuming you correctly reverted the settings.