Office 365 Advent Calendar – 22 Modern and Classic Experience in SharePoint Online

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Earlier this year, Microsoft announced and rolled out the modern experience for lists. They didn’t stop at that, but also introduced modern pages and sites. But what are the differences to the ‘classic experiences’, so the type of lists, libraries, pages, and sites that we’ve been using now for many years? How can you switch between these two experiences? And how can you customise the modern experience items? Luckily, there’s some good guidance available from Microsoft.

First of all, it should be noted that the classic experience won’t disappear anytime soon. While Microsoft is rolling out the modern experience, the classic experience will still remain available. However, it should be noted that the functionality set between these two can be quite different. Review the links listed further below for details.

How do I switch between experiences?

For lists and libraries, please have a look at Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic.

For modern sites and pages, the situation is a bit more different. You can’t switch a site between the classic and the modern experience. You also can’t upgrade a ‘classic’ site to a ‘modern’ site, however you can enable the corresponding capabilities to make a ‘classic’ site make use of the ‘modern’ features.

 

What are the differences between ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ lists/libraries?

This article provides some details on which functionality is currently only available in the ‘classic experience’. As you can see, there is quite a range of useful functionality that is not yet in the ‘modern experience’. Note that not all differences are listed. For example, the new smart filters are only available in modern lists. Also, existing customizations will most likely not work anymore.

 

What kind of customization possibilities do I have for ‘modern experiences’?

Have a look at this great article by Vesa Juvonen, and the other pages mentioned in it.