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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > New Super Powers for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business
May 12
New Super Powers for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business

I’ve been dancing with this girl we call SharePoint for well over a decade, and I swear she gets prettier every day. Smile It has been fun watching Microsoft squash bugs and add functionality to the product along the way. One area that has been particularly satisfying is watching Microsoft address areas where the SharePoint Haters always take jabs at SharePoint. Things like, “SharePoint can’t handle more than 5000 items in a list,” or “You can’t have site collections larger than 100 GB in SharePoint,” or my favorite, “SharePoint Designer is free and users are going to destroy SharePoint with it!” Oh, wait.

OneDrive, Now with More Character

Recently Microsoft has fixed two of the limitations that plagued, character support, and URL length. Last month Microsoft chipped away at the former when they released this blog post, New support for # and % in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. In that blog post they announce that there’s a new API that will allow the use of the characters # and % in file and folder names in SharePoint Online (SPO) and OneDrive for Business (ODFB). In the past these characters were forbidden because they were used for other purposes in HTTP. The # character was used to reference anchors in HTML documents. The % was also busy being how you escaped ASCII characters in URLs. Any SharePoint admin worth their salt is well accustomed to space characters showing up as %20 in URLs like ‘Shared%20Documents.’ Since so much of SPO and ODFB is accessed through URLs, this made using those two characters particularly tricky. But you know Microsoft, they have some smart folks there, they figured it out.

Microsoft has always been stellar with backwards compatibility (sometimes to their detriment) and this is no exception. When this feature rolls out in June 2017 they will do it with a new API, so the old APIs will continue to work as expected. If the tenant was created before June 2017 a Tenant Admin will have to use PowerShell to toggle the SpecialCharactersStateInFileFolderNames parameter to Allowed. After that, file and folder names can include # and %. Site and web names cannot. You’ll also have to have the OneDrive Next Gen Sync Client to sync files and folders with # and % in their names.

This only pertains to OneDrive for Business with SPO and Office 365. It is not for SharePoint Server 2016 on-prem.

ODFB Office 365

ODFB On-Prem


Sad smile


URL Size Matters… Less…

Another place that SharePoint got its nose bloodied was URL length. For most cases it was enough, but every once in a while it would bite people, like during upgrades. Last week Microsoft, hot off their victory against those rascals # and %, announced they are bumping the maximum path limit in SharePoint Online and ODFB from 256 characters to 400! That’s an increase of over 50%! And this 400 character limit does not apply to the query parameters at the end. Since SharePoint Online doesn’t have any the ability to add managed paths, I’ve seen people get creative with site collection names. Now they can use those extra 144 characters to get extra creative.

This is also only for SharePoint Online.

ODFB Office 365

ODFB On-Prem


Sad smile


There are more great OneDrive improvements to blog. I’ll get to them next week.




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