This blog goes hand in hand with another blog, “SharePoint Internet Explorer Compatibility Issues” written by a colleague of mine here at Fpweb.net, Steve Lattina. He focuses on compatibility issues with Internet Explorer and some fixes, but I’m actually going to dive into the other types of browsers out there and why some functions work and others don’t in non IE browsers.
Sure, Internet Explorer isn’t always users first (or even second) choice for browsing the internet, but if you want the best that SharePoint has to offer, you need to make IE your default. Nevertheless, a lot of users are opening their SharePoint sites in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
These are both great browsers that will for the most part run your SharePoint site without an issue, but since SharePoint is designed to work best for IE, you may run across some functionality that’s not available or that throws an error when you try and use it.
Microsoft listed the different browsers and version and their level of support:
|Internet Explorer 11||X|
|Internet Explorer 10||X|
|Internet Explorer 9||X|
|Internet Explorer 8||X|
|Internet Explorer 7||X|
|Internet Explorer 6||X|
|Google Chrome (latest released version)||X|
|Mozilla Firefox (latest released version)||X|
|Apple Safari (latest released version with limitations)||X|
And while that list may say what’s supported and what isn’t, that doesn’t mean the level of support will be identical. SharePoint is a Microsoft product and will always be best used in IE 10 or IE 11, depending on your version of SharePoint.
Your functionality can also depend on whether you have third party web parts, custom development on your site or if you basically have anything done to your SharePoint environment that isn’t an out-of-the-box function. For example, trying to open a library with file explorer is only possible with Internet Explorer.
As you can see, there is definitely a compatibility issue with this feature. Another example would be the “Export to Excel” function. This is also a feature not available in Chrome, but is available in Firefox and also IE.
In summation, you need to be careful with using any browser other than IE for your SharePoint needs.
Sometimes you may have certain things that don’t agree with your browser, but there are always work-arounds for those – like adding the site into compatibility mode. You can do so by clicking on Settings in the upper right hand corner, and about halfway down the list is called Compatibility View Settings. Make sure the correct URL is in the website box and select Add.
That will usually help when you have a newer version of IE and an older version of SharePoint or vice versa. Another work around you can try is to lower the security of the site and add it to your trusted sites. You can do so by going to Internet Options, the same way you get to compatibility settings, selecting the Security settings, next selecting Trusted Sites and make sure that the setting is at Low.