Modern document libraries in SharePoint

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Last month, we unveiled our broad vision for the Future of SharePoint, and today we’re delighted to announce the that modern document libraries are now rolling out to all Office 365 commercial customers worldwide. You can learn more about how to use modern libraries in this article, “What is a document library?

What’s new

Helping people share files and collaborate on content has always been central to our mission. That’s why we’re creating a better experience for document libraries that’s faster, more intuitive and responsive.

Here’s a look at what’s new:

The new, modern document library experience, showing two documents and a link pinned to the top.

User interface

Modern document libraries combine the power of SharePoint with OneDrive usability—Modern document libraries have an updated user interface that offers an experience similar to OneDrive, so it’s more intuitive to create a new folder and upload files in the browser. The ribbon has been replaced with a trim command bar, which provides intelligent commands relevant to the tasks at hand. If your organization has customized the ribbon with buttons that map to critical business functionality in your enterprise, those buttons will appear in the command bar as well. With this update, each new Office 365 group now gets a full modern document library, replacing the former “Files” page.

Important documents easily highlighted—Click Pin to top to add documents “above the fold” in any onscreen view.

Copy and move files from the command bar—Copying isn’t new, but the copy and move gestures are intelligent about displaying your information architecture and letting you create new folders on the fly.

Copy files from SharePoint command bar.

Import files from other libraries—You may not have to make as many copies any more. Document libraries are also intelligent about remembering other files you’ve been using in SharePoint. That’s why you can import other files from other libraries as links, without having to duplicate files between multiple sites. You still see thumbnails and metadata for native files. And SharePoint shows your list of most recent documents, so you don’t have to cut and paste a link.

Create a link in modern document libraries.


Personalized views simplified—The new document libraries let you group files directly in the main page without clicking to a separate admin screen. You can also click and drag to change the size of your columns, as well as sort, filter and group from any column header. To make the view available to everybody else in the library, just click Save View.

Responsive and accessible design—Mobile browsers have the same features as the desktop, making SharePoint productive for every user—whether they interact via mouse, keyboard, touch or screen reader.


Document metadata now available inline—You can now edit metadata directly from the main view in the information panel. No more clicking into multiple screens to apply an update! If you’re in a view that groups files by metadata, you can drag and drop files between groups to update the metadata. And if you miss something required, the document is no longer hidden behind enforced checkout—you just receive a reminder to enter the data when you can.

One-stop shopping for everything about your documents—Thanks to Office Online integration, you can navigate a complete document preview at the top of the information panel. The panel offers metadata, including the history of recent activity, updates to the file and who received a share to the file. You can also add more users or immediately stop all sharing. Finally, all other file properties are displayed, in case there’s anything else not already covered.

The document information panel.

Keeping it authentically SharePoint—While we enhanced the document libraries to make them as intuitive and productive as possible, we know that the power of SharePoint has always been in your ability to customize document libraries to work for your team. At the same time, there’s a rich tradition of using content types, check-in/check-out, versioning, records management and workflows in SharePoint. Modern document libraries inherit all of these.


Modern libraries come to Office 365 Groups—To bring enhanced content management to group files, libraries belonging to an Office 365 group have a new header control at the top of the page. Unlike the old control, which included links to the group’s conversation, calendar and member management, the new control has a single link to the group’s conversation, from which users can navigate to calendar and member management.

Getting started with modern document libraries

As we roll out modern libraries into production, we know it’s important to focus on several key aspects of managing the overall user experience.

Since usability requires manageability, we keep IT in control of the experience. You may be ready to adopt this across the board or you might want to stay in classic mode until you can prepare your users. We give you full control of using classic or modern looks at the tenant, site collection and library level.

When we bring modern document libraries into production later in June, it will become the new default for all libraries in most cases. However, we will add the tenant and administrative controls in advance of the actual library rollout, so if you choose to opt out, you can do so before users start seeing the new experience. We also included customization detection, so if we see certain features and customizations that don’t work in the modern experience, we automatically drop back to classic mode.

And we’ll keep classic mode running well into 2017 while users and developers adapt and adopt the new capabilities. See the article “What is a document library?” for more details.

There’s more to come

First Release customers have been actively using many of these features since April and their feedback has guided our improvements announced today. You can join that conversation on the Office 365 Network on Yammer and weigh in on the improvements that will be part of our general release. For more context on the future of team sites beyond the new, modern document library experience, read “SharePoint—the mobile and intelligent intranet.”

We heard your feedback on extensibility and customization in particular, and we’ll have more to share in a future update. We plan to add support for customizing the page using modern techniques. Until then, customized library pages should stay in classic mode.

In the meantime, learn more about using and supporting libraries in “What is a document library?,” try out the new document libraries in SharePoint Online and give us feedback directly inside the modern document library experience with the Feedback button.

Thanks for using SharePoint.

—Chris McNulty, @cmcnulty2000, senior product manager for the SharePoint team

Frequently asked questions

Q. Will new document libraries support customization?

A. Yes, modern document libraries will continue to support declarative CustomActions that represent menu and command actions. Solutions that are currently deployed that make use of this mechanism should continue to work as before, with actions appearing in the new command surface in addition to the ribbon in classic mode. CustomActions that deploy script, JSLinks and additional web parts on the page are currently not supported. Environments that require these unsupported features should continue using classic mode for the time being.

Q. How long will classic mode be supported?

A. We recognize the need to test and prepare for any disruption to user experiences such as document libraries. We expect to run the two modes in parallel into 2017.

Q. Will these modern experiences come to on-premises servers?

A. Bringing modern experiences to SharePoint Server 2016 is central to our vision and is very much a part of the roadmap. At this time, we have no information to share yet about how or how soon this will happen.

Q. Which versions of Internet Explorer work best with modern libraries?

A. SharePoint Online supports the latest version of the Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Edge browsers, along with Internet Explorer 10 and 11. Older versions of Internet Explorer are already out of support generally. Internet Explorer 8 and 9 were previously noted as a “diminished experience” in SharePoint Online. Users of these older browsers should remain in classic mode or, preferably, upgrade to a currently supported version.

  1. Nice! When is it available for education costumers?

      • Modern libraries are in process of being deployed to First Release tenants; production rollouts, as noted in our Message Center posts, are scheduled to start June 21. Thank you!

        • We still are not seeing the new libraries in our environment. I checked the admin settings and it is set to the new experience.

  2. Hello – we are finding that target audiences and hidden links aren’t honored from the site navigation in the document library navigation. Pages and subsites are also shown regardless of the options selected in site navigation.

    When will these navigation issues be fixed in the new library experience? I’m surprised this wasn’t addressed already.

    • This. It seems to be broken, as it’ll show things twice (like a sub-site), but when viewing the Parent Site, left nav is fine. I don’t want to mess with it as since it looks okay by default, but when going into a library, it’s a mess on the left side. There has to be some sort of management for this, or instruction on how this works so it can be managed across the board. Users will be confused when entering a library then trying to go back, as the order of items in the left nav when in a new style doc library are also out of order, and it appears that cannot be changed currently either.

      I’ve disabled the New Experience for now due to this issue alone.

      • We use managed navigation from the term store for all global navigation. Every site, page library and list has the same menu at the top of the page. There is a very large problem with the Modern Document libraries, they do not inherit the managed navigation! The Left nav and all navigation is not production ready.

        Another issue I have noticed is the admin center is set for libraries to use the new experience, and the site is set to use the new experience. If you open the advanced properties of the Library, it is set to use the admin settings. Many of the libraries are showing the old experience unless you change the option in advanced settings to use new experience.

        Why is the Global Managed Navigation not inheriting in the new libraries???????

  3. I’m part of the First Release Program and I was wondering when will the image library and asset library will be updated to reflect the refresh of the new document library? Also, when will the modern pages be available for SharePoint Online?

    • We are working to modernize other list and library types presently. At this time, we have no more information on the rollout of Modern Pages we announced on May 4, but hope to have more details soon. Thanks.

    • This is indeed needed and reported to be on the roadmap but not happening. An update would be welcome.

      • +1.

        We always seem to be struggling to reach some kind of feature parity with the PC side of Office, regardless of the advances already made. What’s most frustrating is the lack of transparency or product delivery schedules on the Mac side.

  4. What are the required logo dimensions? Now our site wide logo looks terrible in the Libraries! The square does not support many of our or our customers logos which are rectangular.

  5. the new Move and Copy features are great, but they allow users to move Document Set content types into other Document Sets which effectively lets people create nested folder structures. is there any way to configure the libraries to restrict that behaviour?
    This is a significant issue from an information and governance perspective as one of the driving factors for organisations moving to sharepoint is to get away from the 17 deep nested folder structures on their shared network drives!

  6. will the new look also be available inside Document Sets? Doc sets currently still display the classic appearance so there is an inconsistent user experience.

    • Yes, same question.

      Can we expect Document Sets to work within the modern experience in the near foreseeable future?

      Thank you.

    • Same question – this is a big issue for us as we would like to use the new look but doesn’t make sense if users have to go back to classic inside a doc set – any updates anyone ?

  7. Will it be possible to map a network drive to these new document libraries?

  8. I am seconding the question of if its going to be possible to map a network drive to a sharepoint document library. Where is the open with explorer feature going to be located?

    Where is the export to excel feature going to be located?

    You really cannot just remove the ribbon and not have a way to access those previous features anymore.

    • At present, we aren’t including the Explorer View in the modern command bar. We have introduced extensive robust sync capabilities via the OneDrive sync clients for users who need a more file system-based view of content. In addition, full copy and move functions are very much on our roadmap. Thanks!

      • Chris, thanks for your reply. I don’t have an issue with you not including the explore view in the command bar, but will I still be able to map a network drive?

        The reason I like using a mapped drive is driven by understanding that SharePoint Libraries are primarily designed for teams of people and therefore having everyone accessing the one library is essential. I don’t want every user using sync on this library as it just explodes my data foot print everywhere and will inevitably lead to sync conflicts.

        My understanding is SharePoint is for Teams and OneDrive is primarily for personal use with the odd sharing of docs , lets keep it that way. I like the mapped drive feature which works perfect in Windows 10 beacuse it provides users with a familar experience that makes the transition to cloud storage easier.

        • For users still on IE10 or IE11, you can invoke Explorer View under the “All Documents” view selector – you should see the option “Open in File Explorer”. This option isn’t available in Edge or other browsers.

    • We also plan to support classic views for quite a while – *at least* into 2017, likely longer, until we all collectively feel that we’ve satisfied all business critical scenarios in the modern experience, including customizations and custom actions. We want to take care of your investment in our solution, and we recognize, as caretakers, we need to bring you innovations while causing as little disruption as possible. Moreover,, if/when we are ready for a more disruptive change, we wouldn’t take that step without extensive advance communications.

      • We have to have the explorer view available. We use it to distribute content and students then import those directly into software from explorer view, they do not have the capacity to store the volume of content in their local drives.

        How do I turn this off until it meets our requirements?

        • See above – Explorer View is still available for IE. And the articles referenced above show you how to stay in classic mode.

      • When classic mode is removed, is the option to invoke explorer view under “All documents” going to remain? Or is it going to go away with classic view? Myself and plenty of others would like having the option to open document libraries in explorer view as a permanent feature for SharePoint document libraries.

  9. In the classic experience, we could group the metadata as a group and then a subgroup. In the new experience, the same view or a newly created view only does the first level grouping and not the subgroup. Having this ability working is a selling point to my business so that I can avoid creating folders. Until this is fixed, document libraries, I’m keeping document libraries where I need this in the classic experience.

  10. There’s a glitch when you group by a date field then click on the date. Displays empty folder and the date format changes (eg, 6/13/16 becomes 20160613).

  11. I’m testing the new library for a large internal library we have with multiple content types using templates in each. I didn’t have any issues until testing the template from the CT and it doesn’t open the template document, just a blank doc template. Any tips? I’m in O365 > Doc Lib > New > CT.

    So far the new library is definitely an adjustment, but pretty intuitive and I’m hoping there will be more education about features soon.


  12. I’ve currently disabled the modern library experience due to several issues.
    1. I’m experiencing the same navigation issues that have already been mentioned regarding hidden links, pages and subsites showing when on a document library. The navigation is fine when not in a document library.

    2. The second issue is one that I don’t see here. I have several document libraries where the users have uploaded video files. This is a problem when using the Tiles view. For most documents, the file name is displayed at the bottom of the tile. For video files, a play icon is displayed (right-pointing triangle) without the file name. In one instance, there are several video files and there is no way to tell them apart when in the Tiles view.

  13. Hello,
    We’ve just started to test a new library. What we’ve seen is that on a ‘new experience’ SharePoint site only the document library is changed to a new look-and-feel. The starting page of a SharePoint site, the site collection itself, lists et cetera are all not changed. Is that right?

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