SharePoint and Internet Explorer 11

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I’ve recently upgraded to Windows 8.1 which I must agree is a great improvement over the start screen and desktop interaction. While there are some new features the quality of life enhancements really make the upgrade worth it. One thing I didn’t expect with the upgrade was to receive a new version of Internet Explorer automatically.

Enter Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 has some great new features such as the new Developer Tools, better standards support and better HTML 5 video among other improvements. However, it also brings with it some problems using and working with SharePoint.

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Problems with SharePoint

SharePoint is a big application with it’s own legacy and backwards compatibility problems and each time there is a major browser update it takes a few CU’s or Service Packs to bring SharePoint into 100% alignment. Until then it is recommended that you run the SharePoint sites in compatibility mode. You’ll need to do this manually or roll it out as a Group Policy if you’re using FQDN’s for your SharePoint site URL’s since the “Display intranet sites in Compatibility View” feature won’t kick in automatically for non-intranet URLs. Note that this does affect Office 365 / SharePoint Online because it is not automatically detected as an Intranet URL.

So far I’ve found the following problems.

  • Pages will not enter edit mode. You will click Settings > Edit Page and the page will simply refresh but will not change over into edit mode. Seems to only affect pages with Web Part Zones.
  • Web Part Properties cannot be modified. If you are able to get into edit mode (you can edit wiki pages) you will not be able to modify existing Web Parts by using the Web Part Properties panel. Instead you will see a really weird collapse button that looks like it is coming from the mobile view but you cannot modify web part properties… even through the ribbon controls.

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The fix is to run the site in compatibility mode until SharePoint officially supports Internet Explorer 11.

To run in compatibility mode

  1. Press ALT + T when viewing your SharePoint page
  2. Click Compatibility View Settings in the menu that appears
  3. Click Add to add the current SharePoint site to your list of compatibility view pages
  4. Click Close
I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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