How to schedule SharePoint pages and news posts to publish on a specific date and time

Sometimes you may have SharePoint news posts edited and ready to go, but have to wait for an official announcement or date to arrive before you can share the news. Rather than wait for that date and manually publish, we can schedule news posts to go live at a date and time we specify.

In order for this to work, we have to turn on a setting for the Site Pages library in which we’re creating the news.

Note

Only site owners can enable page and news publishing for their site. If you’re a site member, ask your site owner to follow the steps in the first section.

How to enable scheduling for your site’s SharePoint pages and news

  1. Go to your Site Contents (settings wheel | Site Contents) and select your Site Pages library (this is where your site’s pages and news are created and stored).
Site Pages library location in SharePoint | Click to enlarge
  1. Select Scheduling at the top
Scheduling option at the top of the Site Pages library | Click to enlarge
  1. Toggle on the Enable scheduling option

Now your site’s members can use the scheduling feature for their pages and news. The next section shares user steps to do so.

How to schedule SharePoint pages and news

  1. Create your page or news post as you normally would (Site’s home page | New | Page or News post)
Location of new page and news post options on a site | Click to enlarge
  1. When you’re ready to schedule the post, click Page details | Enable Scheduling and add the Publish Start Date/time | Schedule (this button changes from Post/Publish to Schedule after you’ve entered the publish start date)
Scheduling steps for SharePoint pages and news | Click to enlarge

How to reset a SharePoint column value to blank using Power Automate

In Power Automate, setting an already-populated SharePoint list or library field to blank isn’t as simple as leaving the field blank in your flow. Luckily, it’s just a couple extra steps to make it possible.

In this post I’ll cover multiple column types as they’re a bit different.

  • How to set text, date, number, and yes/no column values to blank
  • How to set single choice column values to blank
  • How to reset multi-choice column values to blank
  • How to reset person column values to blank

How to set SharePoint text, date, number, and yes/no column values to blank

The steps in this section will work for these column types:

  • Single line of text
  • Multiline text
  • Date
  • Number
  • Yes/No
  1. Click into the field you want to reset to blank
  2. Select Expression
  3. Type Null in the expression box (not case-sensitive)
  4. Click OK
Adding a Null expression in Power Automate | Click to enlarge

Test your flow and it should reset the field value(s) to blank wherever you used the Null expression.

Showing the fields that were reset using Power Automate | Click to enlarge

How to set SharePoint single choice field values to blank

To set a choice field back to blank (no selection) follow these steps:

  1. Add a step before updating the item that initializes a variable. The step is called Initialize Variable.
  2. Set the variable name to Blank, and the type to String. Do not set a value.
  3. In your update action, set the choice field value to the new variable from dynamic content.
Creating a blank variable in Power Automate | Click to enlarge

Test your flow, and you should see your single choice field reset to no choice.

Result of a Power Automate flow resetting a choice field | Click to enlarge

How to reset SharePoint multi-choice column values to blank

A normal choice column in SharePoint has more options that allow it to be set to multiple choice.

Multiple selection option for a choice field in SharePoint | Click to enlarge

Changing a single-select choice column to a multi-choice field alters how Power Automate resets the field, but it’s still similar to the steps involved for a single choice field.

To set a multiple-choice field back to blank (no selections) follow these steps:

  1. Add a step before updating the item that initializes a variable. The step is called Initialize Variable.
  2. Set the variable name to BlankArray, and the type to Array. Do not set a value.
  3. In your update action, select the T icon next to your multiple-choice field.
  1. Set the multi-choice field value to the new variable from dynamic content.
Power Automate actions resetting a multiple-choice field to blank | Click to enlarge

Test your flow and your multi-choice fields should now reset to blank.

Result of a Power Automate flow resetting multiple-choice fields to blank | Click to enlarge

How to reset SharePoint person column values to blank

Perhaps one of the more complicated column types to reset, a person field takes a bit more work to reset. To accomplish this, we can use an HTTP request. Follow these steps to empty a SharePoint person column’s value.

  1. Add the Send an HTTP request to SharePoint step
  2. Following the screenshot below, set the fields as follows (you must replace all red items with your own values):
    • Site Address (select your site)
    • Method: POST
    • Uri: _api/web/lists/getbytitle(‘YOUR LIST TITLE‘)/items(YOUR ITEM ID FROM DYNAMIC CONTENT)
    • Headers
      • IF-MATCH | *
      • X-HTTP-Method | MERGE
      • Content-Type | application/json;odata=verbose
      • Accept | application/json;odata=verbose
    • Body:
      {
      “__metadata”:{
      “type”:”SP.Data.YOUR_x0020_LIST_x0020_TITLEListItem”
      },
      YOURPERSONFIELDId”:”-1″
      }

Important notes for the Body field

If your list name has a space, replace it with _x0020_ such as Null_x0020_demo.

Field names are different than display names. Even if your field displays with a space (Person field) it is likely Personfield on the backend. You can verify your column’s actual name by going to List settings (gear icon) and selecting your column from the Columns section. Your field’s actual name will be displayed in your browser’s URL.

How your HTTP request should look when finished | Click to enlarge

Test your flow and you’ll find that your person column has been reset.

How to move all OneDrive for Business files to a shared location

Sometimes people need to move or copy many files at once from their OneDrive to a shared folder or location. This is sometimes simply for reorganizing and sharing content more efficiently. Other times, it’s because a user learns that OneDrive is tied to individual employees so when they leave, their OneDrive will be gone as well. What files do you currently have in your OneDrive that others would need if you left the company?

Does your team use Microsoft Teams regularly? Every team in Microsoft Teams has a SharePoint site that supports it – so moving files to a site connected to a team makes those files more easily accessible via Teams as well.

If you need to perform a bulk move like this, you can individually select what you want to move or select all files in your OneDrive for Business and move or copy them to a shared location, such as your team’s SharePoint site. The steps are listed below, or a video demonstration is available at the bottom of the post.

How to move all your files from OneDrive to SharePoint

  1. Multi-select the files you intend to move or copy, or “select all”
  2. Select Move to (or Copy to if you wish to keep a version of your own)
Select all files | Move to actions (click to enlarge)
  1. Find the site/team under Quick Access to which you’re moving files (you may need to click More places…)
    • You can create a new folder (as seen in video at bottom of post) if there’s not a great existing option for keeping them organized
    • Each site/team may have multiple libraries – use the library switcher next to the site name at the top to choose a different library
Document library switcher when moving or copying files (click to enlarge)
  1. Select Move here and wait for the move to complete before closing your browser

In this video, I’ll show you how to move all OneDrive for Business files to a document library on a team-connected SharePoint site.

Intro to the ‘Visualize the list’ Power BI feature for SharePoint lists (Recording from Baltimore SharePoint User Group)

I had the honor of presenting one of my favorite Microsoft 365 features for the Baltimore SharePoint User Group’s regular meeting last week. You may have seen this particular feature on your lists (individual or in SharePoint): the ability to visualize a list or library’s data using the Power BI service.

Visualize the list menu option for lists and libraries | Click to enlarge

This newer feature of convenient Power BI integration for lists gives you an automatic report based on your list’s data. We explored how to create a report, customize it, and save it back to the list for future one-click access.

Automatically generated report | Click to enlarge

Even if you haven’t used Power BI (yet), this presentation was made for all experience levels and will provide a proper introduction. In this one-hour session, I specifically covered:

  • How to create an automatic report/dashboard from your list in just a few clicks
  • How to edit and publish the auto-generated report for others to use
  • Site lists vs my lists
  • Limitations of the feature
  • Licensing requirements

Watch the recording on YouTube, or embedded below.

Additional resources

How to remove the Recycle Bin from a SharePoint team site’s navigation menu

I recently had someone ask me how you could remove the Recycle Bin from a modern SharePoint team site’s left-hand navigation menu. Even if you click Edit on the navigation menu, Recycle Bin disappears as an option you can change. So how can it be done?

While it’s not the most straightforward process, it is possible to remove Recycle bin from a site’s navigation menu but it will require activating the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure site collection feature.

Before you proceed, please read about this feature and its impacts in its entirety and check out Gregory Zelfond’s excellent write-up on the advantages and disadvantages here.

If you’d still like to proceed, and you’re the site’s owner, follow these steps to remove Recycle bin from your menu (video at bottom).

  1. Go to the site for which you wish to remove Recycle bin’s link
  2. Go to Site contents > Site settings
  3. Select Site collection features from the Site Collection Administration section
  4. Activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature (this may take a minute or two)

Your Recycle bin has now been removed from your navigation menu, but you can still access it via Site contents > Recycle bin.

How to change a SharePoint site theme and navigation (Video)

You can change your SharePoint site’s navigation menus and overall theme. This lesson demonstrates how to get started.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

How to roll up content across SharePoint Online sites (Video)

You can roll up and display content from across multiple sites in SharePoint Online using the news, documents, and events web parts. This video will demonstrate that process.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

The News, Highlighted content, and Events web parts allow you to pull in content from sites other than your current site. So, for example, if you’re building a home page for your site and add a news web part, you can choose to pull in a partner department’s site’s news to your site as well to provide a variety of relevant content to your members. 

Additional resources

How to create news in SharePoint Online (Video)

News in SharePoint Online is a great way to disseminate information to your team and the entire organization. Learn how to create news in this video, then watch the content roll-ups lesson later in this course to see how your news can be pulled into other sites across your organization.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

You can create and share news within and outside your SharePoint. News is highly visible to your members from the SharePoint start page, SharePoint mobile app, any of your pages that have the news web part, and any pages from other sites in your organization that are including news from your site.

Creating news is nearly identical to creating a page –  the main difference is what’s described in the previous paragraph – how it’s distributed, used in web parts, and consumed. The very nature of news is to be temporary – announcements, articles, write-ups, etc. Pages, on the other hand, are meant to be more permanent/evergreen as core resources/landing pages in your site’s navigation.

Additional resources

How to create pages in SharePoint Online (Video)

Learn how to create additional pages for your SharePoint site. We’ll cover creating a page as well as adding section layouts and web parts.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

How to use calculated columns in SharePoint Online lists and libraries (Video)

Learn how to create and use calculated columns in SharePoint lists and libraries. Not all calculated columns are mathematical – you could extract text or combine column values as well, for example. See the additional column reference handout for this lesson in the full course at www.NateTheTrainer.com.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Additional resources