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Powershell script to upload a file to a SharePoint document Library. This is meant to be called from other scripts like a cmdlet. This also handles document libraries that require check-in/out and document approval
[string] $listUrl = $null, # = "",
[string] $file = $null, # = "C:\SomeFolder\SomeFile.txt",
[string] $checkInComment = "Background Process Upload",
[bool] $publishMajorVersion = $true,
[bool] $approve = $true, # approve it if if approval is required
[string] $approvalComment = "Approved by background process",
[bool] $useFileTimes = $false # use the original file times for SharePoint created/modified
# Original script - 01-May-2013 - David Wise
# GIST Url:
# Note: for testing purposes, simply set $listUrl to a valid SharePoint Document Library and $file to the path of a local file to upload and then run the script
function SetFileTimes($pUploadedFile, [System.IO.FileInfo] $pLocalFile) {
$item = $pUploadedFile.Item
if ($item -eq $null) { return }
$item["Created"] = $pLocalFile.CreationTime
$item["Modified"] = $pLocalFile.LastWriteTime
# basic required parameters
if ($ListUrl -eq $null -or $file -eq $null) {
write-output "A ListUrl and a File must be specified"
exit 4
# does the specified file exist?
if ([System.IO.File]::Exists($file) -eq $false) {
write-output "The specified file '$file' does not exist"
exit 5
$destUri = $null
$localFile = get-item -LiteralPath $file
$site = $null
try {
# can we open the SharePoint site from the URL?
$destUri = [System.Uri]($listUrl)
write-output "Opening: $listUrl"
$site = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite]($listUrl)
} catch {
$msg = $error[0].Exception.Message
write-output "Unable to open site '$ListUrl' - $msg"
exit 6
$queryParams = [System.Web.HttpUtility]::ParseQueryString($destUri.Query)
$folderPath = $queryParams["RootFolder"]
if ($folderPath -eq $null) {
$folderPath = $destUri.LocalPath
$web = $site.OpenWeb()
$folder = $null
$list = $null
$file = $null
$exitCode = 0
try {
$folder = $web.GetFolder($folderPath)
$list = $web.GetList($listUrl)
$bRequiresCheckIn = $false
if ($list -eq $null) { throw "Unable to open list" }
if ($folder -eq $null -or $folder.Exists -eq $false) { throw "Unable to open folder '$folderPath'" }
#if the library requires a check out, we must do that first
if ($list.ForceCheckout -eq $true) {
$folder.Files | %{
if ($_.Name -eq $localFile.Name) {
#if we have a match, check it out
# ~~ in testing I found that under certain conditions, the document would exist after deletion but with a version of 0.1
# ~~ I'm not sure why but turning off the Require CheckOut option and then running this code cleared it up
if ($_.CheckOutType -ne "None") {
$bRequiresCheckIn = $true
$stream = $localFile.OpenRead()
$newFile = $folder.Files.Add($folder.Url + "/" + $localFile.Name, $stream, $true, $checkInComment, $false)
if ($useFileTimes) { SetFileTimes $newFile $localFile }
if ($bRequiresCheckIn -eq $true -or $publishMajorVersion -eq $true) {
$revType = 0 # minor rev
if ($list.EnableVersioning -eq $true -and $publishMajorVersion -eq $true) { $revType = 1 }
if ($list.EnableVersioning -eq $false) { $revType = 2 }
if ($newFile.CheckOutType -eq "None") { $newFile.CheckOut() }
$newFile.CheckIn($checkInComment, $revType)
if ($list.EnableModeration -eq $true -and $approve -eq $true) {
Write-output "File Uploaded successfully"
} catch {
$msg = $error[0].Exception.Message
write-output "Unable to open list Url '$ListUrl' - $msg"
finally {
if ($web -ne $null) { $web.Dispose() }
if ($site -ne $null) { $site.Dispose() }
$web = $null
$site = $null
exit $exitCode

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@DavidWise DavidWise commented May 2, 2013

The purpose of this script is obviously to allow a PowerShell script to easily upload a local file into a SharePoint document library. However, in my environment, I never knew what the specific options on that library might be. This script came about as an attempt to address the most common variants, including:

  • Basic file upload
  • Check Out prior to upload (if library has the Check Out Required option set)
  • Check In (if needed)
  • Major and Minor versions
  • Approval
  • Check In Comments
  • Approval comments
  • Ability to use the timestamps of the original file as SharePoint Created/Modified times
    (note: this doesn't work quite right if approval or check in is required as those specifically set the Modified date)

If you run into any issues, please include them in the comments here or on the related post on my blog.

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