SharePoint 2010 Content Organizer Part 3 – The Drop Off Library

As described in the first post in this series, the Drop Off Library is created when you activate the Content Organizer feature.  As soon as you configure the Content Organizer to start routing documents (which, actually it does when you activate the feature), all uploads to the site are automatically sent to the Drop Off Library.  It is just a typical SharePoint document library with a timer job that will process outstanding items.  Whenever you create a rule and select a content type, the Content Organizer checks to see if that content type has been added to the Drop Off Library yet.  If it hasn't, the type is added to the library so that when the edit form is displayed after an item has been uploaded, users can select any one of the content types that are used in the routing rules.
A standard document library was used because it allows one to take advantage of all the typical document library features, such as:

·         Workflow – users can start workflows on items in the Drop Off Library to approve a document, for example, before it is routed

·         Content Approval – items can be forced through a content approval process prior to it being routed

·         Check In / Check Out – allows items to stay in the Drop Off Library until all required properties for the content type have been filled out.  Once the properties are all completed though, items are routed whether or not they are checked in.

·         Alerts – get notified when a new item is added to the Drop Off Library

·         Permissions – create custom permissions for the drop off library.  If you have set the Redirect Users to the Drop Off Library property in the Content Organizer settings, then this allows you to effectively control who can upload content in the entire site, since all uploads get routed to the Drop Off Library.

You may also end up with a scenario where all of the rules are processed but none of them apply to an uploaded document.  In that case the document remains in the Drop Off Library, and the user that uploaded the item is shown a message indicating that a) there were no matching rules, b) the site owner has been notified that a new rule may need to be created and c) the Url to the item in the Drop Off Library.  Items that remain in the Drop Off Library generate emails to those individuals defined as Rule managers in the Content Organizer settings page. Those emails are only sent however, if in the Content Organizer settings page you checked the box to send emails when submissions do not match a rule, and/or send emails when content has been left in the Drop Off Library for 3 days.  3 is a configurable value though, which can be changed as needed.

Comments (19)

  1. Anonymous says:

    this is a great new feature of SharePoint but is there any way to automate the setup of these settings using powershell scripts ?

  2. Anonymous says:


    I have activated the feature of content organizer and configured everything but when i upload a document in the site the property window of Drop-Off library is not getting opened instead property window of the document library where i have uploaded the document is getting opened. Now the document is not redirected to the Drop-Off floder hence it is not redirected to the target location.Do i have to activate any other feature.Can you please help me.

  3. alexandrad9x says:

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Prabath: I suppose "Content Organizer" runs in the context of "System Account". That one doesn't trigger any workflows.

    @George26: Document Sets are derived from the "Folder" content type, not from "Document". Sorry.

  5. jjbongo says:

    @Swapna_Bomma – You don't have to configure much at all to get this working.  I've created an Images library for pictures and a Documents library for documents and set up rules for the drop off library that sends Documents to Documents and Images to Images.  Now if I navigate to the Documents library and upload an image it gives me the choice of content type – 'Image' or 'Document'.  Depending on which content type I choose, I am presented with different fields to fill in. After clicking OK the file is automatically saved in the correct document library.

    @jcarter – It looks like the rules are simply stored in a list with the content type 'Rule', and it is easy to use PowerShell to add items to a list and set field values.  I suggest you create a few rules and look at the values in each field.

    Does anyone know of a way to not require the user to choose a content type/fill in the metadata/check-in the file in order for the Content Organizer to do its magic?  I'm happy to create rules based on only the default content type and the file name.  This would allow me to save files in there via Windows Explorer and have them directed to the right places.

  6. Prabath says:


    I have two site collections. In the first SiteCollection I have a document library. I have configured a Content Organizer for a Site in the First SiteCollection to send/move a document to Shared Documents in a Site in Second SiteCollection.

    Also I have integrated an approval workflow to initiate when a new item is created in Shared Documents in the Site of Second SiteCollection.

    The document moving part happens without any issue from the Site in First SiteCollection to the Shared Documents in Site of the Second SiteCollection. But the workflow integrated with Share Documents does not run automatically. If I run it manually, it executes without any issue. So my problem is, are there any special configuration that has to be done, to make the workflow initiate at item creation as the document moves from the Drop Off Library to the Shared Documents (in the Second SiteCollection)?


  7. steve fink says:

    Anyone know the best way to set up a move file rule in the Drop Off Library, that does not kick off until someone manually marks the file as a record.? And then have the move happen immediately, not on a timer.  I would think a workflow would be in order, but am looking for a built-in way of doing it.

  8. Isa says:

    I want to add structure mukti folder. this role only create first level folder. anyone knows how to do it.


  9. George26 says:

    I've created a rule to move an item which is a "Document" ok, but can't get the one I've created to move a "Document Set" to work – is it something I've done wrong or will this never work? (Am I wrong in thinking that "Document Sets" inherit from the "Document" Content Type?)


  10. Boy33 says:

    I've created some rules that creates a new folder for each month but this folders aren't created… help? sry for my bad english

  11. remko says:

    We have set the timerjob Content Organizer Processing on 1 minute for fast processing. However users now get every minute an email when a document is not ready and need more information.

    Is there any way to get around this emailing?

  12. Daniel says:


    I have concerns on the usability of the drop off library. Yes it is great for routing stuff set to the document library. Users will want to interact with one or more libraries on the site.  If I wanted to enable the content routing in each of the sites would your suggest

    1) handle the content routing myself with a SPD workflow per content type – yuk !

    2) build a catch all workflow that moves the document to drop off library for later content based routing.


  13. Barry says:

    What Remko said! Please make it an option to stop email alerts being sent to the item submitter as well as the rule managers. I can't think of a good reason this wasn't included as an option in Content Organizer Settings…now users are bombarded by emails that can't be stopped!

  14. Chetna1 says:

    Hi, I have created a Content Organizer rule for DocumentSet and its working fine and files are added to "Drop Off Library"  as a .zip folder for DocumentSet. This works fine when adding the documents manually. But, when am trying to add documents to "Drop Off Library" programatically using documentSet.Export(); and DocumentSet.Import() methods. This is not creating the .zip file. Please let me know how can  we move documentSet from one document library to other as .zipfile…

  15. Chetna1 says:

    Content Organizer rule is working properly when document sets are added manually to drop off library. but uploading the files one by one to drop off library is not suggestable.. What is the other best way to do it?

  16. Pratap says:

    I faced similar problem, and found the solution in Microsoft.Office.Policy dll.…/uploading-documents-programtically-to.html

  17. Fran says:

    This article is SOOO not true.  After running an Approval Workflow on the Drop-Off Library and meeting all the rules )(approved) the document does NOT get moved.  The email goes out to state that it did not meet the criteria (although it did), so it does not work and it is really aggravating. Thanks Microsoft!

  18. DSF says:

  19. SF says: