Switching between Classic and Modern experiences in SharePoint Online

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Collaboration | 0 comments

SharePoint’s Classic user interface was introduced in 2002 and since then Microsoft has continued to build features on top of the original foundation.  In 2017, they started phasing in “modern” SharePoint pages leveraging more up-to-date web technologies.  Modern SharePoint is an entirely new user experience that exists in SharePoint Online fully redesigned to address prior user complaints and an increasingly mobile workforce.

As exciting as these changes are, some users and organizations have ‘opted-out’ and preferred to remain in the Classic experience for various reasons.  However, SharePoint tenant opt-out for modern lists is retiring on 1st April 2019.  Which means Microsoft is retiring the ability to opt-out of Modern lists at the tenant level.

How does this impact you?

Currently, you can select between Classic experience or Modern experience on your list and library. Starting April 1, 2019, it will no longer be possible to restrict an entire organization (tenant) to Classic mode for lists and libraries. Lists and libraries may still use Classic mode using the granular opt-out switches that are provided at the site collection, site, list, and library levels. Additionally, lists that use certain features and customizations that are not supported by Modern will still be automatically switched to Classic mode. After April 1, lists and libraries that are in Classic mode as a result of tenant opt-out will automatically be shifted to Modern. If you have been using lists and libraries in Classic experience across your tenant and would like to continue to use Classic experience, the details mentioned below will help make that switch very easy instead of going through each list and library individually.


To programmatically toggle between the new experience and Classic experience on any specific list or library or all the lists and libraries in a given site you can use PowerShell. For each list or library, set the property ListExperienceOptions with one of the following values: “NewExperience”, “ClassicExperience” or “Auto”.  This would look like:

$library.ListExperienceOptions = “ClassicExperience”

We have been continually working with many of our clients to move to the new Modern experience.  We have also been assisting many customers migrate to SharePoint Online to both alleviate the need to manage on-premises environments and to take advantage of all of the features O365 has to offer.  You can read more about this in our blog discussing 5 Migration Approaches.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of your SharePoint environment or project, send us an email at info@peters.com or call 630.832.0075 to start the conversation.  We are happy to help!