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Switch library interface

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconIn April 2016 Microsoft started to roll out a drastic change in the user interface of the SharePoint Online document libraries. In the demo below Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, points out the differences between the new and the classic experience and shows how to switch between the two interfaces.

Note that if you use the new interface, some of what is said about document libraries in the SharePoint Online from Scratch series is done in a another way than showed in here. We will update articles and demos as soon as time permits, but if you know both interfaces you will hopefully understand the instructions given in this series even if your library interface looks different.

Quick Actions Pane

The most obvious change is probably that the SharePoint ribbon has been removed in the libraries. Directly under the top banner the new interface instead has a quick actions pane.

SharePoint Online quick actions pane

The image above shows the quick actions pane when no item is selected in the library, but the pane gives different options depending on if no, one or multiple items are selected. Depending on screen size, the controls are in form of icons or in a dropdown under an ellipsis. 

More Important News

  • SharePoint Online Library SettingsSettings: the Library Settings link is now found under the settings gear. The settings page looks as before.

  • Search: there is only search field that searches the current library.

  • There is no easy, no-code possibility to edit the library page.

  • There are no Connect & Export features, and there is no possibility to open the library in Windows Explorer.

Switch between classic and new experience

In the left bottom corner of the new interface there is a link: 'Return to classic SharePoint'. There is also a corresponding 'Exit classic experience' link in the classic interface. Each library user can switch interface with these links.

Set experience

In the Library Settings, library owners and admins can set the default experience for that library:
  1. Open the Library Settings and click on the link 'Advanced settings' in the General Settings group.
  2. Set the List experience at the bottom of the Advanced settings page to the interface that should be default.




Learn more about switching default library from Microsoft!




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