A View to a Kill

SharePoint can be a nagging fellow, especially if you begin to stray from any “out of the box” solution. The crux of the problem is usually that you are asked to go out of the box to create columns, content types and views. A wide range of SharePoint experts will always say, “If you can do without coding or SharePoint Designer you are saving yourself possible headaches down the road.”

Here is an example of a SharePoint Headaches that came up recently and its simple solution that makes sense when you use SharePoint logic to cure it.

Headache: A Site Owner created a library of reports and then created a view called Monthly and set it as Default. Then he grouped them by the Month column.

The Site Owner rightly thought when people click on the Library’s link on the site people will see the Monthly View. Yep, so far so good.

But in the name of experimenting he also created a duplicate view with the same name, but not the same Grouping options and forgot he did so. This Second Monthly view doesn’t over write the first one or prompt you to save over, no it simply adds another view to you view list.


The Owner then mistakenly copied and pasted the url of the Second Monthly into a email notification workflow that users hit and get a view that is not the default Monthly view. https://… /sites/reports/Forms/Monthly1.aspx

But why, if you set a view to default shouldn’t it, well, default to that view?

Yes, it should and does when you use the build in navigation in SharePoint.

Now look back at the url and see if you can spot the problem…That’s right 1 too many.

Drilling into the views in the Document Library Settings, you can see the Original Monthly View has a url of https://… /sites/reports/Forms/Monthly.aspx, not Monthly1.aspx. If you manually give out the wrong url it goes to the wrong place.

The simple fix was to go into the Document Library Settings and delete the second view with 1 sticking out.


The Site Owner was convinced that SharePoint is terrible and he just needed to delete all views and start over again. But now you as a SharePoint agent with a license to kill can now rub out the unnecessary view.


About mhinckley

Michael Hinckley MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, has over 10+ years specializing in solution architecture for organizations that span from small businesses and global corporations. He is currently the Sr. Program Manager at Tangram. Michael is a recognized speaker and evangelist for Microsoft SharePoint and Business Intelligence stacks. He organizes tech community events (SharePoint Saturdays) throughout Florida and runs the Tampa SharePoint/Office User Group. He is a contributing author for the book Microsoft SharePoint for Business Executives: Q&A Handbook.
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