How to: Check Out a File or Project

When you want to modify a Visual SourceSafe file or project, you can check it out of the database using the Check Out command, which makes the file or files editable in your working folder. To use this command, you must have the Add/Rename/Delete project right.

Security noteSecurity Note

Some types of files, for example, executable files, Web page files, and script files, might contain viruses or scripts that can be harmful to your computer. If you need to open these kinds of files using any program except the default Visual SourceSafe editor, you must be certain that the file is from a trustworthy source.

When you check out an item Visual SourceSafe usually copies the item from the database to your working folder, unless you have specified to check out the local version. Using the Lock-Modify-Unlock work style, if anyone else attempts to check out the same item when you have it checked out, Visual SourceSafe generates a message stating that the item is already checked out. If your team is using the Copy-Modify-Merge work style, multiple checkouts of the same item are allowed. For more information, see Work Styles.

After you are finished modifying a file that you have checked out, you will want to save your changes to the database. The Check In command copies the modified document from your working folder into the database, making your changes accessible to other users in a new version of the file.

If you are ready to return a file to the database but have made no file changes, you can use the Undo Check Out command. This command returns the file to the way it was before you checked it out.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

To check out a file or project

  1. In Visual SourceSafe Explorer, select the project or file(s) that you want to modify. You can select multiple files using standard Windows methods.

  2. On the Versions menu, click Check Out.

  3. In the Check Out dialog box, make your settings for the Check Out operation.

  4. Click OK when finished. Visual SourceSafe places the checked-out item(s) in your working folder, where you can modify them using the default editor program. If you want to change the editor, see How to: Change the Default Editor.

See Also