Updates from QA Training

The troubled marriage of SharePoint 2013 and IE10

SharePoint 2013 and Internet Explorer 10 have a stormy relationship. I think it’s time for marriage guidance counselling.

John Day | 15 May 2014

SharePoint 2013 and Internet Explorer 10 have a stormy relationship. I think it’s time for marriage guidance counselling.

So I was delivering a SharePoint 2013 End User course a while ago and was showing how to import a spreadsheet as a new SharePoint list app, when I got an error that read "An unexpected error has occurred (-2147467259)."  Eight people sitting there looking at me whilst I stared at the error. So we broke for coffee break whilst I searched the Internet for the error. It seems everyone else had the same problem but as per usual too many solutions based on different variables.

Figure 1 - The Error when importing a spreadsheet as a list app in SharePoint 2013

For performance reasons, we install Windows 7 64-bit. However we install Microsoft Office 32-bit because it is more stable and is more compatible with other apps. When you connect to a SharePoint site, SharePoint installs browser add-ons required to complete certain tasks. So the Import Spreadsheet function uses the "SharePoint Spreadsheet Launcher". However this is only 32-bit. "Hmmm, I wonder of that is it?"  I thought. So I closed down every Internet Explorer window and forced it to open in 32-bit mode, and viola, the process worked!

The bizarre thing is, I already should have known this as we do mention to people that 64-bit versions are not as fully supported as 32-bit. This was the case in SharePoint 2010 , and although Microsoft have claimed this is no longer an issue, it really is. So if you have a similar issue, you have two options:

Option 1: Upgrade to Internet Explorer 11. Not a great option for some but IE11 actually opens up the application in both 64-bit and 32-bit process removing the problem.

Option 2:   Force IE10 to open up in 32-bit mode.  Here's how:

  • In the Internet Options  --> Programs tab --> Manage add - ons button, select and Disable the SharePoint Spreadsheet Launcher and SharePoint Export Database Launcher .
  • Close down all instances of IE that are open.  Now you cannot rely on what you see on screen. Some windows like to hide and pop up annoying things during the day.
  • Open up your Task manager ({ ALT }, { CTRL }, [ DEL ] and select Start Task manager) then view the Processes tab.  Click on and delete every iexplore.exe image
  • (Make sure you do not end task Explorer.exe by mistake, Windows may well throw a tantrum).
  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer .  At this point you may want to add a shortcut to your desktop for the iexplore.exe executable. 
  • Run the iexplore.exe or the shortcut.
  • If you look in your task manager iexplore.exe *32 will appear showing it has opened an image in 32-bit mode.
  • Enable the SharePoint Spreadsheet Launcher and SharePoint Export Database Launcher Add-ons
  • Now Import a spreadsheet as before and it should work perfectly.

Wow, was that a bit much? Yes, but you only do this once and it fixes it. Because I have to do this repeatedly in classes I keep the shortcut file on my memory stick and it works fine.

Ultimately IE11 is more stable and - as I am told - provides better support for HTML 5 so this would be the better option if possible.

QA Training | John Day

John Day

Office Applications Principal Consultant - SharePoint

John has worked in the IT training for 29 years, 20 of which have been with QA. Through this time John has gained “in-the-field” experience with database administration, VB and VBA programming and development, and web design. With almost 10 years of SharePoint administration experience, John heads the Microsoft SharePoint curriculum, where he authors QA’s SharePoint and related Office 365 courses for business professionals. John also supports the SharePoint training team and reviews the latest technologies associated with SharePoint as he eagerly grows his knowledge and experience in Microsoft cloud technologies.
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