SharePoint Designer, bad in the wrong hands
Prevent unwanted use of SharePoint Designer (SPD)
Hi SharePoint Online administrators!
You have all Heard the nickname SharePoint Destroyer right? I’m not a SharePoint Designer hater at all, quite the opposite actually. Some things can simply just be done from SPD and no Place else. Like for example saving a SharePoint online Site Collection from a failed branding attempt…or a miscoded masterpage…
No, SPD is a really good tool for the ones who know how to use it and with the proper skills and the proper permissions it can be a real help in many scenarios, onprem or in the cloud.
However, what I want to Point out here in this post, is that not everyone has the skills needed, and way to many users have too high permissions for their own good.
A powerfull tool like SPD in the wrong hands can be dangerous…
The only example we need: OneDrive for Business…until Microsoft makes a change and restricts every users completely unmotivated administrative privilieges to the OneDrive for Business/Mysite, we want to stop our users any way we can.
So, this is what I have found that can assist in this task in a Office 365 scenario:
1. Remove SPD as a download from Office 365 (Makes it harder)
2. Prevent the use of SPD (Not easy to accomplish in OneDrive for Business)
3. Educate your users. (Often not realistic at all)
1. Remove SPD as a download from Office 365
OK, if you did not know this, Office 365 has a link for every user, where they can freely or included in the license, download software. It includes the Office 365 Proplus and Lync+Outlook for Mac and more, one of the applications offered to the users is SharePoint Designer.
The link to download SharePoint Designer can be removed by a global Administrator though…(thank you Microsoft)
This is what you do:
Click the ‘startbutton’ in the Applauncher of your Office 365 tenant, then click on Admin
Expand Service Settings and select User Software
Deselect the SharePoint Designer checkbox and hit Save.
Done. This configuration will stop users from easily finding SharePoint Designer inside of Office 365
Note: Remember however, they can still install it from other sources.
If you did not know this, the software is installed by the users from here:
This setting will be removed/Hidden from the user if you follow the steps above.
2. Prevent the use of SPD
Before ywe begin, this is NOT easily done in OneDrive for Business. Since every OneDrive for Business is its own Site Collection (or part of the mysite) it has to be configured on every single OneDrive for Business. And even if this is accomplished, it can be ‘unconfigured’ by the user since he/she has administrative privileges.
Stop the use of SharePoint Designer completely in a single Site Collection this way:
In the Site Settings menu, select the Site Collections Site Settings
Select SharePoint Designer Settings
Deselect Enable SharePoint Designer to stop its use completely. Or, if you rather let the users do some things but not all, select the minor options as you choose.
Hit OK and you are safe!
3. Educate your users
This is actually not a bad idea, depending on the type of users and the kind of business you are and the size and so on, this can be the very best way, but it can also be the hardest, the most expensive and the least secure way.
My recommendation, do keep this in mind. It can be a good adea to put some trust in your users and give them some responsibility, sometimes…
How to do this step, that is not my area of expertese, but there are others who know this. If you are a small organization, use email! Or Office 365 Video?
With that, we are done for this time.
References and Credits
Organize your Office 365 with the new app launcher
Introducing Office 365 Video
Credits & many thanks to
‘Always, Mattias Gutke, now at Xperta
My excellent colleges/coworkers at Xperta! All of you! My team, Johanna, Oscar, Micke and again, Mattias!
3 thoughts on “Office 365 guide series – Prevent unwanted use of SharePoint Designer”
Nice article. Recently Microsoft released a feature to “disable scripting” on OneDrive. This also limits the usability of SharePoint Designer.
Thanks, good tip. I may add that to the post later on.