Solution: “Feature requires a browser that supports ActiveX controls” when importing spreadsheet to SharePoint

If you’re trying to import a spreadsheet as a new list in SharePoint, you’ll need to use a browser that supports ActiveX controls or you’ll get the error:

“This feature requires a browser that supports ActiveX controls.”

Chances are you’re running a browser other than IE, or you’re running IE version 11. ActiveX controls are not supported in IE11, or most browsers. We can work around this error message by having IE pretend it’s version 10 momentarily.

  1. Open SharePoint in Internet Explorer (IE)
    • Quick access: Hit Windows key, type IE, hit enter
  2. Press F12 to open Developer Tools and select the Emulation Tab
  3. Change Document mode from 11 to 10 (supports ActiveX). Page will reload so you can try again in version 10.

Now try to import the spreadsheet again and it will work fine, opening your spreadsheet and prompting you to select the table or relevant data for import.

The “new Outlook” in Outlook O365 looks a lot like personal Outlook online now

When you log into your Outlook online at work next time, you might be prompted to try the “new” Outlook. Here’s what you’ll see if you venture forth.

The first thing I noticed is how the original O365 Outlook looked like this:

But the new Outlook (when toggled on) resembles personal accounts (,, etc.). Notice the change in the left pane, the top nav, and the “new message” and search bar locations.

I love this consistency across experiences and feel this will help users adjust more easily, recognizing a familiar layout across their personal and work accounts.

Two features highlighted in the “welcome tour” once activated include improved search and scheduling (including assistant ability of identifying available times).

The integration of your groups is still there, and you can easily drag your messages to your groups to share with relevant teams (very helpful in reducing data loss or “recovery” that occurs when employees leave a company and a lot of content still lives in their inbox).

Updated share link options for SharePoint files

You may have already seen some new options when sharing links to files in SharePoint (and OneDrive). Here’s what’s available in my tenant today:

If you use the “Anyone with the link” option (for anonymous access) you can choose a date on which the link will expire and access will no longer be granted via that link.

You can block people from downloading only if you uncheck “Allow editing” for the link types that support it.

Your basic options are to allow anonymous users (with or without an expiration date) to:

  • Edit & Download
  • View & Download
  • View Only

You can also easily share with people only in your tenant, even if they don’t have prior access, and choose whether they can edit, view and download, or just view.

People with existing access is useful just to Skype/Teams someone a quick link to get to the file. Their pre-existing permissions apply.

Finally, “Specific People” can allow you to share with external users but they must use the address you share with, as they’ll be sent a verification code to validate their identity. This adds a layer of security to otherwise anonymous share links.

Note: You may not be prompted to enter your email address if opened directly. But if the email is forwarded, user will be asked to verify email before they’re able to send a code.

“Notify your team” option when you upload files to SharePoint

A newer feature in SharePoint allows you the option to “Notify your team” after a new file is uploaded. Your upload process is the same, but then your “upload complete” dialog now has an additional option:

When you select “Notify your team” you’re presented with options like sharing with SharePoint groups, or just individuals manually entered.

When finished, click “Notify” and the intended recipients receive a link that only works for them when logged in.

If you attempt to share with someone not in your tenant, you will receive an error as you can only notify people with existing access.

For these external users, you can instead separately share via the usual “Share” dialog when a file is selected. Here you’ll also find a newer feature that allows for blocking downloads if the “Allow editing” box is unchecked. This would prevent people making edits offline and creating multiple versions in silos.

Preserve Excel hyperlinks when saving as PDF

If you have hyperlinks in your excel files and need to save your file as a PDF, you’ve probably run into the error in which your hyperlinks in the PDF output are inactive.

To be able to maintain hyperlinks you will need Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have it, please skip down to the bottom of this post to the “Don’t have Adobe Acrobat?” section.

If you do have Adobe, it’s quite simple unless you’re using the HYPERLINK() formula (see below). Just use the Acrobat add-in to save as Adobe PDF.

File –> Save as Adobe PDF –> Convert to PDF. You can also use the Acrobat tab in the ribbon and click “Create PDF”.

Using HYPERLINK() formula

If you’re using the hyperlink formula, as seen below, we’ll need to do some manipulation to our sheet first. Printing to PDF will require that your hyperlinks are properly written before conversion (http… or https…).

To get just the hyperlinks from our formula, we can copy values from Excel and paste into Word, then copy from Word and paste back into Excel (keeping source formatting).

Paste into blank Word document, then copy all values (not the whole table, just the column)
Back in Excel, select the original column values, and paste the new values copied from Word in their place

Now when you save as Adobe PDF, your links will remain active:

Don’t have Adobe Acrobat?

Save the Excel Sheet as a web page and links will work. This isn’t ideal but in a pinch will save you some stress.