Microsoft will soon introduce an update for SharePoint Online that will push customers into using the modern UI for the platform. While the change seems to be just for Lists and Libraries, it means organizations won’t be able to use the “classic” user interface for those tools.

Chris McNulty, a product marketing manager for SharePoint Online, announced tenant-level blocking changes will be made. Even if organizations had set up some blocks, they will be bypassed by the changes.

McNulty says the change will happen in April and will be for organizations still on the classic UI who have not updated to modern through the tenant setting. He says these companies will see their UI “automatically shifted”.

Microsoft also provides an FAQ section to help organizations better understand the changes. The company says the modern UI may not show up on Lists and Libraries immediately.

This update is only a change to the administrative settings, not the user interface. It makes it simpler to deploy modern experiences to more users, while providing enhanced tools to identify and manage lists and libraries that need to stay classic.” 

We do not anticipate customers that used the modern opt-out mode for their SharePoint Online tenancies will experience breaks or unavailable service. As we noted, we test for rendering issues in modern experiences and automatically downgrade to classic if we see them. Organizations that want to limit a site to classic mode only will need to use PowerShell, or individual list and library settings.”

Sticking with Classic

Modern UI on SharePoint Online is supposed to offer users a smoother and more user-friendly experience. While that is debatable, the UI offers various customizations. It is also worth noting Microsoft says it has “no plans to remove classic mode.”

However, McNulty says any new features that come to SharePoint will only be integrated into the modern interface.