VSS: Undo Someone Else’s Check Out

One of my colleges is off sick today. I need to edit some files that he was working with on Friday. Unfortunately, he checked out these files in Visual Source Safe (VSS), but did not check them back in. As a result, Visual Studio won’t let me make any changes to these files.

From time-to-time, most VSS users need to check someone else’s files back in because they are not available to do so. Normally, in VSS, the option to undo check out is greyed-out on a file that someone else has checked out. However, if you run VSS as the Admin user, you can undo check out for another user.

To run VSS as Admin (Windows XP, VSS6):

Open a command prompt. Type the command line for VSS explorer, followed by “-yadmin”. For me this is ‘ “C:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual StudioVSSwin32SSEXP.EXE” -yadmin’ (including the double-quotes).

Select the database you want, and enter the admin password:

You can now right-click the files you want and undo check out:

You can accept the default on all subsequent prompts.

My thanks to Marc Hoeppner for his excellent article from which I gleaned this information.

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8 Responses to VSS: Undo Someone Else’s Check Out

  1. Dawid says:

    instead of using ssadmin, use ssexp.exe

  2. kramii says:


    You’re right. Thanks for the correction. I’ve updated the article.

  3. David says:

    Thanks for the help! Got me out of a troubling situation.


  4. David says:

    Thanks for the help! Got me out of a troubling situation.


  5. irene says:

    I have the same problem, but when I login as admin to VSS, I cannot see any of file in the VSS but the folder on the left side. Its different when i use another account. Could help ?

  6. Greg says:

    Thanks for the help.

    No need to use the command line though. You can use the “File / Open SourceSafe Database” menu option. On the “Open SourceSafe Database” dialog, type in “Admin” in the Username field.

  7. Jacob says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the article 🙂 Just what i needed

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