Issue – A site owner had uploaded a file to SharePoint but could not change any of the metadata (properties). The file was from a different library and content type but it needed to be uploaded to the right library and assigned new properties.  If she tried to change the metadata in SharePoint, they were not saved and they reverted back to their previous values.

Solution – To solve this problem, the document had to be deleted from SharePoint and uploaded again. Before it was uploaded, however, the document’s properties also had to be removed. Why? Even when a document is deleted from SharePoint, any properties stay with the document unless they are removed. This is usually very convenient but there are times when you want to start over and assign new metadata to a document. Should you find that you have "sticky metadata," the quickest fix is to remove it so you have a clean slate.

How to Remove Document Properties (Metadata)

  1. Save a copy of the document to your computer
  2. Delete the document from the library in SharePoint.
  3. Open the local copy of the document in Word.
  4. Remove all of the document properties
    Word 2007 -> Office button (upper left-hand corner) -> Prepare -> Inspect Document -> Unselect everything except for "Document Properties and Personal Information" -> Click on "Inspect" -> Remove All
    Word 2010 -> File -> Check for Issues -> Inspect Document -> Inspect -> Remove All Document Properties
  5. Save the document.
  6. Now you can navigate to the SharePoint library and upload the document from your computer.  Fill out the required properties and check it in.