How to update multiple documents in a SharePoint document library with PowerShell

We recently received a query for DocRead to see if it was possible to set the ‘Required Audience’ and ‘Acknowledgement Days’ to about 100 policies on mass (via a script). Hence, being one who is always up for a challenge, I loaded up PowerGUI and set to work!


This script can easily be modified to set any column value, but, obviously my example was specifically to update ‘Required Audience’ and / or ‘Recommended Audience’ columns that DocRead relies upon to distribute the documents to correct groups. To follow my example, you will need to :

  • Have enabled DocRead on the site containing the Document library.
  • Attached DocRead to the Document Library.
  • Populated the Document Library with a few important policies.


  1. Copy the script below (into notepad) and save as ‘DocRead-Set-DocProps.ps1’ on one of your WFE’s.
  2. Login to the WFE as a user who is an admin and who also has contribute permissions on the Document Library containing the policies.
  3. Load a SharePoint PowerShell session.
  4. Within the PowerShell session, ‘CD’ into the directory where you saved the script. (e.g. CD c:Powershell).
  5. Now copy this line, changing the values in orange to match your url, document library name, comment, and group names.
  6. .DocRead-Set-DocProps.ps1 -prmUrl “http://localhost” -prmFolder “Documents” -prmCommentField “DocRead Comment” -prmComment “Your comment” -prmRequiredGroupName “DocRead test group” -prmRecommendedGroupName “Approvers” –prmRequiredAckDays 4 -prmRecommendedAckDays 5 -prmOverrideCheckOut 0
  7. Run it!
  8. Once it has run, the script will checkout each document, amend the audience and comment columns, check in and optionally approve and publish the document.
  9. For DocRead users, the next step is to process site readerships via the DocRead menu.

The PowerShell Script

(Please note : this sample script has only been tested on version DocRead 2.3)


# Load up SP required snap in.
if(-not(Get-PSSnapin | Where { $_.Name -eq "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell"})) {
  Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell;

$web = Get-SPWeb $prmUrl

# Get the folder
$folder = $web.GetFolder($prmFolder);

# Only do this if the folder is in the web.
if ($folder.Exists) {

    # Loop through files and check out if file is not already checked out
    $folder.Files | ForEach-Object     {
        if ($_.CheckOutType -ne "None" -and $prmOverrideCheckOut) {
            $_.CheckIn("Override Checkout")
        # Check if file is not checked in if ($_.CheckOutType -eq "None") 
          Write-Host Checking out         : $_.Name
          # Set Comment field
          if ($prmCommentField) {
              $_.Item[$prmCommentField] = $prmComment
          # Set Required Audience
          if ($prmRequiredGroupName) {
              if (!$prmRequiredAckDays) {
                  $reqAckDays = 7
              } else {
                $reqAckDays = $prmRequiredAckDays
              $reqUserGroup = $web.Groups[$prmRequiredGroupName]
              Write-Host Setting Required Audience    : $prmRequiredGroupName
              $_.Item["Required Audiences"] = ";#;;;;;;;;" + 
                                  $reqUserGroup.Name + ";#" + 
                                $reqAckDays + ";#"
          # Set Recommended Audience
          if ($prmRecommendedGroupName) {
              if (!$prmRecommendedAckDays) {
                  $recAckDays = 7
              } else {
                $recAckDays = $prmRecommendedAckDays
              $recUserGroup = $web.Groups[$prmRecommendedGroupName]
              Write-Host Setting Recommended Audience : $prmRecommendedGroupName
              $_.Item["Recommended Audiences"] = ";#;;;;;;;;" +
                                      $recUserGroup.Name + ";#" + 
                                    $recAckDays + ";#"
          $_.CheckIn("Checked in.")
          # Check for a publish
          if (($_.Level -eq [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFileLevel]::Draft)) {
            Write-Host Publishing a major version
          # Check for an approve
          if ($_.Item.ModerationInformation){      

            if ($_.Item.ModerationInformation.Status -eq 
                    [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPModerationStatusType]::Pending) {
                Write-Host Approving
          Write-Host $_.Name already checked out;