Office 365 guide series – Prevent unwanted use of SharePoint Designer

 Office365logo       SP2013logo


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

O365 Admin0

Expand Service Settings and select User Software

O365 Admin1x

Deselect the SharePoint Designer checkbox and hit Save.

O365 Admin2x

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

Site Settings 1x

Select SharePoint Designer Settings

Site Settings 2x

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.

Site Settings 3x

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!






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Office 365 guide series – Verify Provisioned OneDrives using PowerShell

 Office365logo       SP2013logo

Hi SharePoint Online administrators!

This time I will show you how to:

Verify if a provisioned OneDrive for Business site was provisioned.


 Is this really right…? What did they…(Åminne bruk, Värnamo, Sweden)


If you followed my previous post, Office 365 guide series – Provision OneDrive for Business using PowerShell then you will mst likely have a bunch of sites that you Think you have provisioned and are not really sure if it worked?
There are obviously ways to verify manuelly but if the list of users was long, then that is not the funniest work out there…

I suggest you use this script instead…:-)

If you have a single emaildomains in your oranization use the first one, if you have multiple emaildomains, use the second.
All you have to do is copy or retype the script to a Prompt/ps1 or ISE session, then run the script. You have the option to save some time by entering your account name in the script(see start)


1. Script 1 Use this script if your organization only uses one domainname as email domain. For example, if you use only ‘’ then you should use this script.
2. Script 2 Use this script if your organization only uses multiple domainnames as email domains. For example, if you use ‘’, ‘’,’ as UPN names within your O365 tenant, then use this script. You will here be asked for the domain used in the O365 tenant address.
3. Example 1 Example of a usecase with multiple emaildomains and script 2.
4. Example 2 Example of a usecase with a single emaildomain and script 1.

Note: If you copy paste the code from here into a PowerShell promt or ISE, please verify that all quotes and doublequotes are copied correctly, character coding may cause problems. 


Single email domain in your oranization:

***** SCRIPT 1 STARTS HERE *****

# By Thomas Balkeståhl -
$o365cred = Get-Credential -Username "" -Message "Supply a Office365 Admin"
$Userlist = read-host "submit your list of users that have been provisioned"
$Userlist = $Userlist -replace " ", ""
$Emails = $userlist -split ","
#Splitting list into Array
Foreach($Email in $Emails)
    # Constructing URL from the UPN/Email address
    $struser = $Email
    $pos= $strUser.IndexOf("@")
    $len = $struser.Length -1
    $strUser = $strUser.SubString(0, $pos)
    $strUser = $strUser -replace "\.", "_"
    $orgpos = $pos + 1
    $orglen = $len - $pos
    $strOrg = $Email.SubString($orgpos, $orglen)
    $strOrgNamePos = $strOrg.IndexOf(".")
    $strOrgName = $strOrg.SubString(0, $strOrgNamePos)
    $strOrgSuffixPos = $strOrgNamePos +1
    $strOrgNameLen = $strOrg.Length - $strOrgSuffixPos
    $strOrgSuffix = $strOrg.SubString($strOrgSuffixPos, $strOrgNameLen)
    $strOrg = $strOrg -replace "\.", "_"
    $PersonalOrgURL = "https://" + $strOrgName + ""
    $SiteUrl= $PersonalOrgURL + $strUser
    $SiteUrl= $SiteUrl+ "_" + $strOrg
    write-host "Verifying user:" $Email
$HTTP_Request = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($SiteUrl)
$HTTP_Request.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
$HTTP_Request.Credentials = $o365cred
try {
    $HTTP_Response = $HTTP_Request.GetResponse()
catch [System.Net.WebException] {
    $HTTP_Response = $_.Exception.Response
$HTTP_Status = $HTTP_Response.StatusCode
If ($HTTP_Status -eq 200 -or $HTTP_Status -eq 403 )   { 
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Site for user $Email exists!" 
Else {
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow "The OneDrive site for user $Email does not respond, try again later or provision it again"
$HTTP_Request = $null
$HTTP_Response = $null
$HTTP_Status = $Null

***** SCRIPT 1 ENDS HERE *****

If you have multiple email domain in your oranization, use this second script:
***** SCRIPT 2 STARTS HERE *****

# By Thomas Balkeståhl -
$O365Admin = read-host "Supply your Office 365 Admin username(UPN)"
# Add you admin account below, uncomment and comment out the line above to save time...
# $O365Admin = ""
$o365cred = Get-Credential -Username $O365Admin -Message "Supply a Office365 Admin"
$strO365OrgName = read-host "submit your O365 orgname (Only organization, like 'contoso')"
$Userlist = read-host "submit your list of users that have been provisioned"
$Userlist = $Userlist -replace " ", ""
$Emails = $userlist -split ","
#SPlitting list into Array
Foreach($Email in $Emails)
    # Constructing URL from the UPN/Email address
    $struser = $Email
    $pos= $strUser.IndexOf("@")
    $len = $struser.Length -1
    $strUser = $strUser.SubString(0, $pos)
    $strUser = $strUser -replace "\.", "_"
    $orgpos = $pos + 1
    $orglen = $len - $pos
    $strOrg = $Email.SubString($orgpos, $orglen)
    $strOrgNamePos = $strOrg.IndexOf(".")
    $strOrgName = $strOrg.SubString(0, $strOrgNamePos)
    $strOrgSuffixPos = $strOrgNamePos +1
    $strOrgNameLen = $strOrg.Length - $strOrgSuffixPos
    $strOrgSuffix = $strOrg.SubString($strOrgSuffixPos, $strOrgNameLen)
    $strOrg = $strOrg -replace "\.", "_"
    $PersonalOrgURL = "https://" + $strO365OrgName + ""
    $SiteUrl= $PersonalOrgURL + $strUser
    $SiteUrl= $SiteUrl+ "_" + $strOrg
    write-host "Verifying user:" $Email
$HTTP_Request = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($SiteUrl)
$HTTP_Request.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
$HTTP_Request.Credentials = $o365cred
try {
    $HTTP_Response = $HTTP_Request.GetResponse()
catch [System.Net.WebException] {
    $HTTP_Response = $_.Exception.Response
$HTTP_Status = $HTTP_Response.StatusCode
If ($HTTP_Status -eq 200 -or $HTTP_Status -eq 403 )   { 
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Site for user $Email exists!"
Else {
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow "The OneDrive site for user $Email does not respond, try again later or provision it again"
$HTTP_Request = $null
$HTTP_Response = $null
$HTTP_Status = $Null

***** SCRIPT 2 ENDS HERE *****

Example 1

Multiple emaildomains
O365 Orgname: contoso


Like you can see, the list contains users with different emaildomains, contoso and northwind. THe submitted O365 orgname is however used to verify the OneDrive site, contoso.
In this example, the user does not seem to have the OneDrive site provisioned.

Example 2

Single emaildomain


Like you can see, the list contains users with only contoso as emaildomain.
In this example, the user does not seem to have the OneDrive site provisioned. Try to provision again/verify manuelly.

References and Credits

Office 365 guide series – Provision OneDrive for Business using PowerShell


Credits & many thanks to

Jörgen Andersson, Xperta

Always, Mattias Gutke at CAG






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Office 365 guide series – Provision OneDrive for Business using PowerShell

 Office365logo       SP2013logo

Hi SharePoint Online administrators!

This time I will show you how to:

Provision OneDrive for Business using only PowerShell.


Get the people up there…into the Clouds…(Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Time to roll out OneDrive for Business in the Enterprise? Or maybe you just want to implement OneDrive for Business in a controlled way, and you may not be a hardcore developer either.

If you want to do any kind of preparation before letting the users into their OneDrives, then you will need to have them created/provisioned first, after that you can go ahead and give yourself permission (separate blogpost) and migrate a users files (separate blogpost), preconfigure, brand, and so on.
I have in this guide tried to offer a way to provision the OneDrive for Business to your users in a way that do not require you to know C#, Visual Studio or any development at all, how does that sound? All you need to do is follow this guide to the letter, and you will be sucessfull.

The only way I have found so far to provision a users OneDrive for Business as a administrator is to use code developed by the Office AMS Community Project. This includes among other things, a great Visual Studio sample Project for provisioning users OneDrive for business, and this is really spot on. But…it is not that easy to get going, for a non-developer it may prove to be impossible.

I have used code developed in the samples but I will only use PowerShell to execute it. This is what will make it easy for others (such as you?) to use.
The Office AMS Project also includes the SharePoint client assemblies needed to do anything with SPO using CSOM, Client Side Object Model(Code executed on the client).

In order to get started provisioning your users OneDrive for Business sites(or we can just as well call them MySites, since this is wat they really are…), you just follow these steps:


1. Download Download and unpack the Office App Model Samples from Codeplex, last tested version is currently 2.0 found here: DOWNLOAD Office AMS.
2. Get assemblies Locate the Microsoft.sharepoint.client assembles in the unpacked Office App Model Samples folders, located in <unpack location>\Office App Model Samples v2.0\Assemblies\16\ Copy the files Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll, Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll and put them in a folder of your choice, I used C:\Temp\ in my sample. (You can also leave the files as is, but then you have to alter the PowerShell code to reference the path in the Office AMS folders)
3. Run the script In a PowerShell prompt/ISE running as admin, run the PowerShell script available below andHERE (Download as Word file), this will load the code needed to access SPO and start provisioning. (Verify and update if needed the $MyAssemblies line at the very bottom)
4. Execute Execute the code in your PowerShell prompt/ISE running as admin (It has to be the same prompt/ISE used to execute the script), use this syntax: Syntax: [OneDriveforBusiness.Provision]::Execute(<SharePointAdminURL>,<GlobalTenantAdminAccount>,<AdminAccountPassword>,<ListofUsersEmailSeparatedbyCommas>)
5. Done – Verify… Done! Verify that the sites have been provisioned by entering the address in your browser of choice.
References/Credits Reference links and credits


The detailed Guide:

1. Download


Download the latest version of SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK x86 or x64. This SDK contains the dll’s needed.
During the install, the dll’s will be added to the following path:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\

Download the latest version (Office App Model Samples 2.0 – July 2014 – Update 1) of the Office App Model Samples, the Project has been renamed to the more formal Office365 Developer Patterns & Practices but it is still the same.
The last tested version is currently 2.0 found here: DOWNLOAD Office AMS


Back to Menu

2. Get the assemblies

Unpack the files to a location of choice. (The files will ironically enough not synch very well if stored in a OneDrive for Business synchronized folder – long path among other issues).
Locate the ‘assemblies\16’ folder, in this folder you will find the 3 files we need, Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll, Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll. Either you put these Three files in a better location, or you make a note of the path to the folder.

Back to Menu

3. Run the script

Start a PowerShell prompt/ISE running as administrator. This is where all the magic will happen. Copy the powershell script below, or download the scriptfile HERE (Word file), then add the script to the Prompt/ISE.
Before executing the script, you will need to alter one thing, the path to the assembly files. Update the line where we give a value to the $MyAssemblies to reflect where you have your SharePoint.client dll files. This is crucial since the code needs to be able to access these asseblies during execution.

$MyAssemblies = (‘C:\Temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll’,’C:\Temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll’,’C:\Temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll’,’System’,’System.Security’)

Unless you have stored your SharePoint.client.dll’s in C:\Temp folder, you will have to update the Three paths to reflect where the files are stored. Example:

$MyAssemblies = (‘C:\Users\Thomas\Documents\Office App Model Samples v2.0\Assemblies\16\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll’,’C:\Users\Thomas\Documents\Office App Model Samples v2.0\Assemblies\16\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll’,’C:\Users\Thomas\Documents\Office App Model Samples v2.0\Assemblies\16\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll’,’System’,’System.Security’)

Once this is done, you can go ahead and execute the script.

HERE (Download as Word file)

# By Thomas Balkeståhl - August 6 2014
# 1. Run script to load the C# code into the Assembly
# 2. Execute using the following syntax:
# Syntax:  [OneDriveforBusiness.Provision]::Execute(<SharePointAdminURL>,<GlobalTenantAdminAccount>,<AdminAccountPassword>,<ListofUsersEmailSeparatedbyCommas>)
# Example: PS C:\> [OneDriveforBusiness.Provision]::Execute("","","MyVerySecretPassWord1!",",,")
# Input:            
# adminurl = The Tenanat Admin URL for your SharePoint Online Subscription, example: "".
# adminuser = The Credentials of the user who has tenant admin permission, example: "".
# password = The password in cleartext to your tenant admin account(I know, not ideal...but it was a quick and dirty to make it work).
# users = The email IDs for users who's personal site you want to create in the form of a comma-separated string, example: ",,". Do not enter more than 200 users at a time.
$MyCSharpSource = @" 
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Security;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
namespace OneDriveforBusiness
    public class ProvisionOneDrive
        public static void Execute(string adminurl, string adminuser, string password, string users)
            string siteUrl = adminurl;
            string userName = adminuser;
            SecureString pwd = GetPassword(password);
            string[] emailIds = GetEmailId(users);
            /* End Program if no Credentials */
            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(userName) || (pwd == null) || emailIds == null || string.IsNullOrEmpty(siteUrl))
            SharePointOnlineCredentials _creds = new SharePointOnlineCredentials(userName, pwd);
            CreatePersonalSiteUsingCSOM(_creds, siteUrl, emailIds);
        public static SecureString StringToSecure(string nonSecureString)
            SecureString _secureString = new SecureString();
            foreach (char _c in nonSecureString)
            return _secureString;
        // tenantAdminUrl = The Tenanat Admin URL for your SharePoint Online Subscription
        // spoCredentials = The Credentials of the user who has tenant admin permission.
        // emailIDs = The email IDs for users whos personal site you want to create.
        public static void CreatePersonalSiteUsingCSOM(SharePointOnlineCredentials spoCredentials, string tenantAdminUrl, string[] emailIDs)
            using (ClientContext _context = new ClientContext(tenantAdminUrl))
                    _context.AuthenticationMode = ClientAuthenticationMode.Default;
                    _context.Credentials = spoCredentials;
                    ProfileLoader _profileLoader = ProfileLoader.GetProfileLoader(_context);
                    Console.Write("Provisioning of the users supplied has been initiated, please allow for the provisioning to finish, this can take up to 5 minutes.");
                catch (Exception _ex)
                    Console.WriteLine(string.Format("Provisioning failed, find the problem and try again. The error message is {0}", _ex.Message));
        public static SecureString GetPassword(string password)
            SecureString sStrPwd = new SecureString();
            foreach (char ch in password) sStrPwd.AppendChar(ch);
            return sStrPwd;
        public static string[] GetEmailId(string users)
            string[] emailID;
                string Output = "Provisioning the supplied list of users: " + users;
                string emailInput = users;
                if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(emailInput))
                    emailID = emailInput.Split(new char[] { ',' });
                    return emailID;
                    return null;
            catch (Exception e)
            return null;
$ass1 = [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadFile("c:\temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll") 
$ass2 = [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadFile("c:\temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll") 
$ass3 = [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadFile("C:\temp\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll")
$MyAssemblies = @( $ass1.FullName, $ass2.FullName,$ass3.Fullname,"System","System.Core","System.Security")
Add-Type -ReferencedAssemblies $MyAssemblies -TypeDefinition $MyCSharpSource -Language CSharp -PassThru

HERE (Download as Word file)

Back to Menu

4 Executing the provisioning code


We have now loaded the code into memory (a .NET Framework class in your Windows PowerShell session), where it will be available just like if we had created a C# DLL and loaded it into the GAC. Remember though, the code is now static and connot be altered. If you need to make any Changes, have a look in the references section where I will show how to be able to alter the code after it has been loaded once.

Now, we have to call on the code laoded into memory, this is done from the same prompt/ISE used to load the code, the code only exists in that prompt session so it will not be available in any other prompt.

Use the following syntax to execute:

Syntax: [OneDriveforBusiness.ProvisionOneDrive]::Execute(<SharePointAdminURL>,<GlobalTenantAdminAccount>,<AdminAccountPassword>,<ListofUsersEmailSeparatedbyCommas>)

Example: PS C:\> [OneDriveforBusiness.ProvisionOneDrive]::Execute(“;,””,”MyVerySecretPassWord1!”,”,,”) 

What you need to supply when running the code, is your SharePoint online admin address, a tenent admin account and password, plus a list of emailadresses to the users that will be provisioned with a OneDrive for Business.

Start by typing in this:



What this does is call the code we just loaded from PowerShell, The Namespace is OneDriveforBusiness, the Class is ProvisionOneDrive and finally, the void or function is Execute.

<SharePointAdminURL>: The Admin address is available if you go the the Admin/SharePoint administration web. This will be visible in the address field of your browser:



Note the address:

<GlobalTenantAdminAccount>: An account that is a global Office 365 Tenant Administrator.
The account must have this setting in Office 365 Admin Center/Users & Groups – User object:


<AdminAccountPassword>: The password of the <GlobalTenantAdminAccount>. This will be entered in cleartext, not the ideal security solution but this is the only way I could solve it.
(Suggestions on how to prompt for the password in a secure way is welcome!)

<ListofUsersEmailSeparatedbyCommas>: This is the users that will have provisioned with OneDrive for Business. A list of UPN’s (User Principal Name) separated by commas. The UPN must be the one registered in Office 365. The UPN is in the form of a emailadress, for example: Enter the string using double quotes on both sides.

This is what the string should look like: “,,,,”

When you have all the values in order, type in the command with your parameters and execute the provisioning:

PS C:\PSScripts> [OneDriveforBusiness.ProvisionOneDrive]::Execute(“;,””,”**********”,””)

When executed ok, you will see this:


The limit for submitting users to be provisioned have been set by Microsoft to 200 at the time. This code do allow more but it will cause issues. Better to do them 200 at the time, wait unitl done and then do 200 more, alternatively, alter the code to include a check so that every user have been provisioned ok Before moving onto the next.

Now, you can execute the commend again and again. You can also use the code obviously for other tenants. Simple provide the commend with a different account, a different admin URL and you are good to go. Good luck!

Back to Menu

5. Done! Verify….

For a tool to verify your list of users directly, check out this guide: Office 365 guide series – Verify Provisioned OneDrives using PowerShell

Verify that the sites have been provisioned by browsing to the direct URL using your admin account. The URL will look like this:



Since you are using your admin account, you have access to the private part of the OneDrive/MySite.

Note: All the steps in this guide have been verified on a Windows 8.1 Update 1 machine, using PowerShell ISE and the Office AMS July 2014 Update 1. All tests have been done during August of 2014, the functionality of Office 365 may change over time and may thus cause this guide to fail. If this happens I will try to be alert and update the guide accordingly. 

Possible errors

1. You need to alter the script, then run the script again?

You have two choices if this happens, you have loaded the code once and you need to edit it and run again. If you do this you may get the error message saying that the ‘Type has already been added’ or similar. If you get this, simply restart your PowerShell prompt/ISE, OR, Change the name of the public class:


Add for example a number after, so that the class is called: ProvisionOneDrive1, then 2 and so on.

2. Nothing happens, no OneDrive shows up?

Verify all your values, then execute the command again. Remember though, that the time it takes for a site to show up may vary and can take up to 5 minuter PER SITE. Wait a moment longer, try it again

If you have the wrong address when verifying, you will see either of these pages depending on the URL used:

A link like:


A link like:


404 could also just mean that the site is in queue and has not been provisioned yet.

References and Credits

Stefan Gossners old post: Using CSharp (C#) code in Powershell scripts

Office365 Developer Patterns & Practices/Office App Model Samples

TechNet Add-Type

Credits & many thanks to

Kimmo Forss, Microsoft

Jörgen Andersson, Xperta

All the contributors of Office AMS

Always, Mattias Gutke at CAG

Stefan Gossner, Microsoft (Blog) for that short and concise post written a few years back.

My love for putting up with me while solving this problem and writing this post!





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Office 365 guide series – Information Rights Management in SharePoint Online


Hi folks, long time no blogging…

A lot has happened in my life since I last updated my blog, I switched jobs so I have a slightly new focus now in my workplace, it has shifted more against SharePoint Online and Office 365. Say what you want about the cloud service named Office 365 but Microsoft is determined…to make it work and piece by piece it gains in value.

One of the great things offered in Office 365 that is also part of the SharePoint Online offering, is Information Rights Management. Thru the use of the other cloud service Azure Rights Management Service (Azure RMS), real IRM protection can be offered to all SharePoint Online customers on the adequate subscription plan. There is still a lot to be done with the service, but as is, it is way, WAY better than nothing, which is what most people have available today in their current solution. IRM or RMS is available to all customers with an onpremises solution as well, but setting RMS up is a challenge for any administrator. In SharePoint online, you will have it up and running in a total of 5 clicks…(depending on what you count as a click…)


IRM – Its all about stopping unwanted access

And what is so great about this IRM, RMS or DRM you may wonder? A beloved child has many names (Old saying in Sweden), well…it is fantastic. IRM offers you the possibility to set a policy on documents (and email messages) that allows you to specify what the user may or may not do with the document, you may also specify exactly what user or grop may or may not read, write, print, download and so on. The really great thing with IRM is that even if you put a document on a USB drive and someone gets their hand on that USB drive, they still need to authenticate against the Azure RMS service before getting any access at all to the document, and even then, what you may do is controlled by the IRM policy. You are in Control of the data even after the document leaves your controlled environment…not bad huh?

So, how is all this greatness achieved you ask? Well, I will not go into all the magic behind the scenes in this post, but I will show you how you can do it yourself, in your current Office 365 tenant or if you prefer, in an evaluation tenant to avoid the risk of affecting your users (which is virtually impossible anyway but just as a precaution…and to make your bosses feel safe).
Lets get started, jump drectly to a section using the links below:

 The complete guide to enabling IRM protection in a SharePoint document library Jump straigt to the guide, a step by step on how you implement RMS and IRM protection in SharePoint Online.
 Who gets access to RMS, license plans listed Get the list of what subscription plan includes RMS and what does not.
 What works and what doesn’t? The cmplete list of supported OS’s and Applications that support Azure RMS and the ones that do no yet support Azure RMS.
 About the IRM/RMS technology – How does it work, what does it do? The functionality explained.
 References/Links – Find the information online Link to when you get all the info you need in the sometimes difficult Microsoft TechNet way…


The complete guide to enabling IRM protection in a SharePoint document library

This is done in four steps:
– Activate Azure RMS in the Office 365 administration portal.
– Activate RMS in SharePoint online
– Create and set a IRM policy in a document library
– Quickly verify your Information Rights Management

Step 1. Activate Azure RMS in the Office 365 administration portal.

1.1 Log on to your Offcie 365 tenant as a global administrator, go to the Office 365 admin center. You will find the shortcut in the admin dropdown.

O365 admin 0x

1.2 The Office 365 admin center

O365 admin 1

1.3 Now select on the lefthand menu, service settings

O365 admin 2x

1.4 In the top menu select ‘rights management’

O365 admin 3x

1.5 Click on the link to Manage your ‘Azure Rights Management’

O365 admin 4x

1.6 This is where you leave your Office 365 tenant, note the URL you now se in your browsers address field:

O365 admin 5x

1.7 In Azure RMS you will be met by this text saying that yiou have not activated Rights Management yet.

Azure RMS 1x

1.8 In order to activate the RM feature, click on ‘activate’…DUH! Then click on ‘activate’ again…if you are absolutely sure…

Azure RMS 2x

1.9 Wait for it….

Azure RMS 3

1.10 Now you should see this, A nice green checkmark telling you that Rights Managemen has been activated.

Azure RMS 4x

1.11 Done! Now you can move on with activating Rights Management in your SharePoint Online admin portal. The steps you have now taken makes the RMS service available in all parts of your Office 365 tenant, like in Exchange, SharePoint (and Lync).
(As you can see, you can lso make some additional configurations of RMS, for example you can create your own custom policys, fr some reason though, you are required to sign up for a separate Azure RMS suscription for this…the link to where you sign up is added to the page to make things simpler for you)


Step 2. Activate RMS in SharePoint online

2.1 Go to the SharePoint administration portal. Find the shortcut in the Admin dropdown.

SP admin 0x

2.2 In the lefthand pane, select Settings.

SP admin 1x

2.3 Scroll downto the section named ‘Information Rights Management (IRM)’

SP admin 2

2.4 Under Information Rights Management (IRM), on the right side, select ‘Use the IRM service specified in your configuration’

SP admin 3x

2.5 Click on the ‘Refresh IRM Settings’ button. (Buttons…welll…maybe they are touch buttons?)

SP admin 41x

2.6 In ashort while, you will see the text ‘We successfully refreshed your settings’ below the button.

SP admin 4xx

2.7 Done! This means that IRM functionality has been enabled in your SharePoint Online tenant and the IRM settings will now be available in SharePoint.

Note! If you have not previously activated IRM in your Office 365 admin portal, then you will see this massage instead:SP admin 42xIf that is the case, simply go back to Step 1 in this guide and activate IRM in Office 365 first.



Step 3. Create and set a IRM policy in a document library

3.1 Go to a site in your SharePoint Online site collection of choice (can be the rootsite or a subsite), go to a document library (default is probably ‘Documents’).
Now, click on the ‘Library’ tab.



3.2 To the right in the ribbon, click on ‘Library Settings’


3.3 Click on ‘Information Rights Management’


3.4 This is the Information Rights settings for the current Document Library, what you change here will only affect this document library and the documents in it. Remember though, that what you change here will affect ALL documents in this library, in all folders, of all types. By default, IRM is disabled and has no affect at all.


3.5 What you see here, is only the name and the description and the activate button. In order to see more of the settings, click on SHOW OPTIONS. This offers all the settings that are currently available for a document library in SharePoint Online.
Start now by giving your policy a name and type in a description, this is what will be shown to the user, so its better to use a good explainatory description.


3.6 Click on ‘SHOW OPTIONS’. Configure what the policy is and what is allowed and what isn’t. For the sake of easily verifying the functionality, only configure that the document cannot be opened in a browser. In the first section, ‘Set additional IRM library settings’ check the box to prevent the documents from opening in the browser.


3.7 The two other sections has even more options, ‘Configure document access rights’…


3.8 …and ‘Set group protection and credentials interval’.


3.9 When you have configurd the policy like you want it, hit Ok.


3.10 Done! All document in your library are now protected uing the IRM policy you configred. THat IRM is used cannot be seen unless you have access to the IRM setting in the Library Settings. What a regular user can see, is the effect of the policy alone.

3.11 Whithout the policy activated you get a preview of the document(offered by Office Web Apps) and the option to view and edit in browser like below:





3.12 When the policy has been activated, you do not get any preview and the view and edit in browser options are gone.




3.13 You are now done, your document library is IRM protected using Azure Rights Management Service.


Step 4. Quickly verify your Information Rights Management

4.1 Upload a Word document to the document library. (Your document is now IRM protected)

4.2 Click on Edit, you should be prompted to download the document. Cancel the dialog.

4.3 Click on the three dots, you should see a notice that a preview is prevented by RMS.

4.4 You will also notice that the dropdown many does not offer any choice to open in browser or preview in browser.

4.5 Done!


Note: A good bestpractise is to Always verify that your IRM protection policy is activated and works as expected. Some settings must be tested using a Office client application andsome can be tested onin like in this scnario.

Who gets access to RMS, license plans listed

Licensing option Office 365 Small Business Office 365 Small Business Premium Office 365 Midsize Business Office 365 Enterprise E2Office 365 Education A2 Office 365 Enterprise E3Office 365 Education A3Office 365 Government G3 Office 365 Enterprise E4Office 365 Education A4Office 365 Government G4 Office 365 Enterprise K1 SharePoint Plan 2 Exchange Online Plan 2
Information Rights Protection (IRM) No No No No Yes Yes No No No

Like you can see, far from all license plans include RMS.

In addition to the Ofice 35 subscptions that include RMS, there is also a RMS for individuals subscription that will allow a user outside of the organization to open and access IRM protected documents from an organizaton that uses IRM protection using RMS.

Note: If you have a subscription plan that does not include RMS, like a Office 65 E1 or E2, then you can get the RMS functionality as an add-on from Micosoft (Azure RMS Standalone). Talk to you account represenative or your LAR/license vendor. This optio cos a lot less than to upgrade to a E3 plan simply for the RMS functionalty.

What works and what doesn’t?

So, we wat to use RMS and IRM protection, but what is supported, can we use it whereever we want and whenever we want? No, you can’t…
There are some things that work and sometings that don’t work, I have tried to list them all blow, as time goes by, Micrsoft will most likely subtract from the No list and add to the Yes list *.

Implementation Supports Azure RMS
Operating Systems
Windows 7 Professional SP0 Yes
Windows 7 Enterprise SP0 Yes
Windows 7 Ultimate SP0 Yes
Windows 7 Professional SP1 Yes
Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 Yes
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 Yes
Windows 8 Pro Yes
Windows 8 Enterprise Yes
Windows 8.1 Pro Yes
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Yes
Mac OS X (minimum 10.7, Lion) Yes
Mobile Devices
Windows Phone 8 Yes
Android 4.0.3 Yes
iOS 6.0 Yes
Windows 8 RT Yes
Windows 8.1 RT Yes
Office 365
Office Professional Plus 2013 Yes
Office Professional 2010 (With RMS addon) Yes
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 No
Microsoft Office for iPad No
Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) No
Microsoft OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) No (!)
Sharing Applications
Minimum OS version of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Yes
For Mac OS No
On premise Servers
Exchange 2013 Yes
Exchange 2010 Yes
SharePoint Server 2013 Yes
SharePoint Server 2010 Yes
Windows Server 2012 (FCI) Yes
Windows Server 2012 R2 (FCI) Yes

* I asume that all else not listed here does not support Azure RMS.

The RMS connector is supported on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

About the IRM/RMS technology – How does it work, what does it do?

(This section is a direct quote from Microsoft, they actually have a pretty good short and to the point explaination here.)

What is Azure Rights Management:

Azure Rights Management lets you encrypt and assign usage restrictions to content when your organization subscribes to Microsoft online services. Rights Management helps protect content that is created and exchanged by using Microsoft Office as well as other applications or services that have been updated to integrate with the Rights Management service. By implementing a cloud-based rights management service, Rights Management provides an alternative for organizations seeking information protection capabilities within Microsoft Office 365.

Rights management provides the following:

Safeguards sensitive information
Applications and services such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange Online are enabled to help safeguard sensitive information. Users and administrators can define who can open, modify, print, forward, or take other actions with the information. Organizations are provided usage policy templates such as “Company Confidential – Read Only” that can be applied directly to the information.

Provides persistent protection
Rights Management persists protection of file data when at rest and in motion. Once information is locked, only trusted entities that were granted usage rights under the specified conditions (if any) can unlock or decrypt the information.

Supports closer management of usage rights and conditions
Organizations and individuals can assign usage rights and conditions using rights management that define how a specific trusted entity can use rights-protected content. Examples of usage rights are permission to read, copy, print, save, forward, and edit. Usage rights can be accompanied by conditions, such as when those rights expire.

Integrates rights management with Office 365
Rights Management is integrated with SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and other Office 2010 and Office Professional Plus 2013 applications to provide rights management functionality across the Microsoft Office suite.


Office 365 Information Protection using Azure Rights Management

Set up Information Rights Management (IRM) in SharePoint admin center

Azure Rights Management

Administering Azure Rights Management by Using Windows PowerShell

Requirements for Azure Rights Management

Cloud subscriptions that support Azure RMS







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The Iphone Apps of SharePoint Online and Office 365

 Office365logo       SP2013logo

Greetings SharePoint Online users!

This time I will shed some light on what Microsoft have made available for the Iphone users out there. I’m usng different phones over time, but I have an Iphone and I discovered that there is actually quite a lot you can do from and on the Iphone that is SharePoint Online related (Only focusing on the supported Microsoft realesed here)
In this post I will try to list them all and write a bit about what you can do with them.

This is the list of SharePoint Online related apps available (2014-03-23)

OneDrive  Office  Newsfeed  OneNote  Admin  OWA  RMS

1. OneDrive for Business (Formarly SkyDrive Pro)
2. Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers
3. SharePoint Newsfeed
4. Microsoft OneNote for Iphone
5. Office 365 Admin
6. OWA for Iphone
7. Microsoft Rights Management Sharing

Lets start to show what you can see in the App store where they are all available as free downloads, first one out is OneDrive for Business. This is not a Deep dive into technology or functionality or detailed feature sets, but rather a listing of what is available, see what can be done in the gui, the next step is your own, download the apps and try them out for yourselves.

Good luck!

1. OneDrive for Business (Formarly known as SkyDrive Pro)


OneDrive15  OneDrive4  OneDrive2  OneDrive3

This is as good as they get, you can easily access your personal and shared files at any time (Located in your MySite or other organizational sites within the Office 365 tenant). OneDrive for Business will keep your OneDrive files in synch at all times and available online or offline.
OneDrive for Business or SkyDrive Pro as it was originally called, is the shit, no doubt about it.

2. Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers

Office for 365 1

Office for 365 2  Office for 365 3  Office for 365 4  Office for 365 5  Office for 365 6

These are the classical Office application, do some final Changes or touch ups, create the files you need while on the road without any Computer. This is a complete ‘mini Office’ compatible with Office 365.

3. SharePoint Newsfeed

SHarePoint Newsfeed 1

SHarePoint Newsfeed 2  SHarePoint Newsfeed 3  SHarePoint Newsfeed 4  SHarePoint Newsfeed 5  SHarePoint Newsfeed 6

SharePoint Newsfeed, follow what is happening in your organizations social and Corporate newsfeeds. This app will make sure that you are up to date at all times.

4. Microsoft OneNote for Iphone

OneNote 1

OneNote 6  OneNote 2  OneNote 3  OneNote 4  OneNote 5

OneNote…if you don’t use it today, start using it! It is a really really good companion in your daily work, not sure if the App can replace the real application, but you can read and edit your OneNote files in your phone, how cool is that?

5. Office 365 Admin

365 Admin

365 Admin4  365 Admin5  365 Admin6  365 Admin2  365 Admin3

For the Office 365 Administrator, or for the partners out there monitoring the Office 365 tenants for customers, this is the best app of them all(except for OneDrive for Business obviously). In the Admin ‘hub’ you can get the status of all the services in your Office 365 tenant. You see all the major services status on the start page, then you can drill down to what is failing, which Component has the issue, and you can read the log from the Microsoft maintenance staff, what they are doing to solve the issue. This is great. If onluy you could add users and reset their passwords as well…but you can’t get Everything. A good monitor/dashboard from Microsoft this anyway.

6. OWA for Iphone

OWA for Iphone

OWA for Iphone6  OWA for Iphone2  OWA for Iphone3  OWA for Iphone4  OWA for Iphone5

Well, no need to explain, this is the OWA (Outlook Web App, not Office Web Apps) experience in your Iphone. You get email, calendar and Contacts in your hand. In a familiar format.

7. Microsoft Rights Management Sharing



Microsoft Rights Management Sharing. Well…this is what it says, use the App to set IRM protection on files and to open IRM protected files. IRM protected files, and you can access them on your Iphone, who would have thought…?

Ok, thats it. These are the Apps on the Iphone that are related in one or many ways to SharePoint Online, or at least to Office 365. They are all written by Microsoft Corporation and they are free to download from the App store.


See Appstore in your Iphone, search for Microsoft Corporation and you will find them all.





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Office 365 guide series – Using your document templates in SharePoint online

Office365logo      SP2013logo

Greetings SharePoint Online users!

This is the third in the Office 365 and SharePoint Online series.

1. Office 365 guide series – Create a new list from an Excel spreadsheet
2. Office 365 guide series – A guide to SharePoint Navigation using metadata
3. Office 365 guide series – Using your document templates in SharePoint online (This post)

This time I will explain how to:

Use Office templates within your SharePoint Online document libraries. In every organisation, or at least the majority, you talk about templates and you know that you have them, somewhere, but in the end, you and everyone else end up using an existing document and make changes, like you take an agreement from one customer and make changes to the numbers and customer names…would it not be nice if you could get everyone to use the same template? And if a change to the template affected everyone? Wouldn’t that be just smashing eh?

Now I’ll show you the easy steps you have to follow to just get started, We’ll use a simple word template in this example, but you can use any template that you allready have.

Note: In this guide, I will show the quick and easy method, in a later post, I wil show how to use Content Types wich will also allow you to use custom templates, but in a much more controlled way. A link to that post will be added here when that guide has been posted. 

Start by locating a word template, or create one, add some info to the header with logo and company name and address maybe, and add something to the footer for example and save the file as a dotx file. Save it locally so that you easily can access it when we want to upload it to our SharePoint online. – I have created a simple letter template for the company DonkeyMind, with their logo and some additional info in it. I’ll use this in my step by step guide below. I saved this as letter.dotx in my ..\documents\DonkeyMind templates\ folder.


In a SharePoint Online site, now do this:

1.0 Upload the template file. This is not the easies thing to do, unfortunately Microsoft has choosen to make it a lot harder in SPO and SharePoint 2013 than it really has to be (Browse button from 2010 has been removed), unknown to me why. But this is how you do it:

1.1 Browse to your document library in SharePoit online, where you want to use your own custom document template.


1.2 Click the tab, Library. This will present the ribbon for you with the settings available for a document library.


1.3 In the ribbon, click on Open with Explorer


Note: The site URL has to be added to the ‘Local intranet sites’ or ‘Trusted sites’ with added logon automatically, if it isn’t, you will get a popup telling you that it will not work otherwise.

1.4 Click ok on the Internet Explorer Security warning


1.5 The library will now open in a Explorer window, in this windows you will see a folder named forms which is a bit greyed out.


1.6 Double-click on the folder forms, now you will see the following list of files


1.7 Now, in a separate explorer window on your computer, locate your saved template file (dotx)

Note: In my case, I stored it under ..\Documents\DonkeyMind templates\


1.8 Put the tw0 explorer windows side by side


1.9 Drag and drop the template file from your local folder to the SharePoint library forms folder


1.10 The file will now be uploaded to the SharePoint forms folder


2.0 When the file is uploaded ok, go back to your browser and the document library


2.1 Now, we need to change the template used from the default template.dotx to our own template, in my case, letter.dotx. Again, click on the Library tab.


2.2 Click on Library Settings


2.3 In the Library Settings dialog, click on Advanced settings


2.4 Locate the Document Template section


2.5 Change the filename in the Template URL to reflect your template files name


2.6 Click on OK


2.7 Click on Documents in the ‘breadcrumbs’ to go back to the library again.


2.8 Click on the Files tab


2.9 Now, on the New Document button, click on the dropdown and New Document


2.10 Press Yes in the dialog asking if you really want to open this file, because you do…

Note: Avoid this by changing the Trust Center settings in your Office applications.
1. Allow trusted locations on my network.
2. Add new location
3. Type in the https path to your SharePoint Online tenant
(See references for 2007 and 2010)


2.11 You may also get prompted for your username/email address for the Office 365 account. Type it in and press Next

Note: This dialog only shows up if you are not logged into your office applications using your Office 365 account 


2.12 And Password…Sign in


2.13 The new document opens, based on the template


2.14 When you have types your letter and are done, simply press Save, this will show you the save as dialog with the path to the SharePoint document library at the top


2.15 Select that and type in a filename and save the file

2.16 You are done, use the New Documents button to create your standard letters based on the custom template, again and again.


3.0 Done!

Note: All the same steps apply in SPO as well as SharePoint 2013 onpremise, exept for the ‘add site URL to trusted sites’ issue. In an onprem situation the URL is most of the time already considered Trusted or Local intranet.


Learn how to set up a template for a library.

How to enable or disable hyperlink warning messages in 2007 Office programs and in Office 2010 programs





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Office 365 guide series – Create a new list from an Excel spreadsheet

 Office365logo       SP2013logo

Greetings SharePoint Online users!

This is the first in a series of Office 365 and SharePoint Online guides primarily aimed at users and power users, my aim with these guides is to show in an easy to grasp way, how you do a few relatively easy but important tasks in SharePoint Online/Office 365. Tasks that will give you a lot of functionality with relatively little effort. Since a lot have been covered already for SharePoint onprem in blogs and other online documentation like TechNet, but not specifically for Office 365 or SharePoint Onlne, I feel that there is a gap to fill here.

1. Office 365 guide series – Create a new list from an Excel spreadsheet
2. Office 365 guide series – A guide to SharePoint Navigation using metadata
3. Office 365 guide series – Using your document templates in SharePoint online

This first time, I will explain how to:

Create a new custom list from an existing excel spreadsheet
This task is simple if everything goes smoothly, but if you have never done it before, or if you have tried but got stuck on any of the little hickups you may encounter, then this may be the perfect guide for you.

– Start by creating your Excel spreadsheet. Make sure that it is a xlsx file. You may also use an existing spreadsheet with your listdata, copy from an old file, save another format as xlsx.

In the spreadsheet, follow the following rules to get a good result:
– Make sure that you do not have any empty column headers between columns. This will cause all headers to be imported as row 1 instead of beeing headers, new column headers will be created as 1, 2, 3 and so on.
– Keep the spreadsheet ‘clean’, remove empty rows, empty columns and any text above the header row and to the right or under of the table or cell range.
– The first column to the left will be the default edit field in the SharePoint list. Make sure that it has values on all rows.
– For best result, avoid formulas with calculated values.
– Use Excel 2013.

In a SharePoint Online site, do this:
1. Decide on a name for the list, it will be the URL and name of the list.
2. Go to the ‘cogs’/Settings and select Add an app


3. You will now see a list of all available apps (installed)
4. Search for Import or scroll down until you find the app called Import Spreadsheet
5. Click on Import Spreadsheet


6. Type in the Name of the new list
7. Type in a optional Description
8. At the File location field, click Browse…
9. Browse to your xlsx file on your computer
10. Click on Import


11. The Import Wizard starts, by default, the Range type is set to Table Range
12. Change this to Range of cells
13. Click in the Select Range field
14. In the Spreadsheet, select the top left cell and then make sure that you select the entire table of data you want imported
15. It should now read something similar to: Sheet1!$A$1:$G$400 (top left : bottom right)


16. Now you click on Import
17. You may now get a logonprompt from Excel, enter the emailaddress for the SPO account and click next
18. Enter the account password and click on Sign in
19. Excel will now create the list and start importing the data, you will see a little progressbar at the bottom of the Excel application.
20. When the import is done, the new list will open and you will see the columns from the top


Note: You may note sometimes that a ‘mailto:’ has been added to the email column values.
This is added in excel but hidden when a cell is formatted as an email address. In the example above, note that the first row has the value of ‘Email’ which made the list field be formatted as single line of text instead of email.
The trick is most of the time to make sure that all fieldvalues in a column are consistent in format. One cell with a different format will cause the entire column to get a different formatting.

21. Done!

– You may now want to add a link in the left hand navigation to the list. Check the url in the addressbar of IE and copy it.
– Click on EDIT LINKS
– Click on +Link
– Type in the Text to display (will be seen in the navigation), for example ‘Contacts’ and paste the URL into Address
– Click OK
– Try the link out to make sure
Done! (Again)

Error list

You get ‘The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import’
When: When you browse to your Excel spreadsheet and click Import
Fix: Add site URL to trusted sites in Internet Explorer, it has to be in either trusted sites or Local Intranet sites.

A new header row is created instead of the headers I got (Column1, Column2, Column3…) and the headers becomes values if the first datarow
When: You have one or many empty headers in your cellrange
Fix: Remove all columns with blank headers, or add a value to them, this is only within your cell span.


If you get the error, ‘An unexpected error has occured. (-2147467259)’
When: Something is wrong with the SPO User session you have open
Fix: Sign out of your SPO session, close all IE windows, Close Excel – logon again to SPO, Add app…same procedure as last time.



Very large files, field data types get wrong, you expect Single line of text but get Multiple lines of text
When: The cellrange probably contain one or more ‘special’ values that is interpreted by excel/SPO as something else than it is.
Fix: With large files, create a new excelfile with only header and one row, make sure that the header row or the data row do not contain any value or characters out of the ordinary. Then, copy paste the rest of the rows in quick edit or datasheet view.

The wrong Column becomes the default edit column with the ‘…’ for the edit dropdown meny.
When: The column you want to use for default edit is not the first from the left.
Fix: First column will be the default edit field with the …make sute the Cell range starts with the top left cell.

Note: All the same steps apply in SPO as well as SharePoint 2013 onpremise, exept for the Excel logon prompt and the ‘add site URL to trusted sites issue. In an onprem situation the URL is most of the time already considered Trusted or Local intranet.


None so far 🙂





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