sharepoint 2013

SharePoint 2013: Increasing the Width of the Refiner Web Part

Here’s a quick tip if you find that your refiner items are getting truncated on a search screen in SharePoint 2013.

  1. Add a new Script Editor Web Part to the search page
  2. Add then tweak the following CSS to increase the width of the refiner panel on the page
<style type="text/css">
 #sideNavBox { width:220px; }
 .ms-ref-refiner #Value { width:220px; }
sharepoint, sharepoint 2013

SharePoint 2013: New Document and Edit Document Buttons Not Working

Hi all

If you get a situation in a SharePoint 2013 document library where your New Document or Edit Document buttons seem to do nothing, check if you have the Google Toolbar installed.

In my case, ever though I stopped using the toolbar quite a while ago, it was still there. After disabling the toolbar, the document library buttons started behaving themselves again.

It’s possible the issue is to do with the popup blocked in the Google Toolbar, so if you have your heart set on keeping the toolbar, you may want to have a poke around those settings.

Hope that helps


sharepoint, sharepoint 2013

Recursively Copy Document Libraries from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

We’ve recently been looking at migrating quite a large amount of content from our legacy SharePoint 2010 Farm to a new clean SharePoint 2013 installation. For a variety of reasons we didn’t want to go the whole content database->site collection upgrade approach, not least of all because we really wanted a clean break from what has been quite a naughty SharePoint 2010 farm. The thing is creaking, it hates all forms of human life and is quite possibly haunted. Because of this we wanted to bring the binary file data across and essentially nothing else.

Migrating documents around would seem to be one of those things that an Enterprise class document management platform should have nailed. However it turns out, its not quite as straightforward as you might think.

Perhaps I’m asking too much, but there didn’t seem to be any simple way of saying, “recursively copy all that, and place it there”.

I came across scores of roll your own scripts, C# apps and seriously expensive bits of software that would charge me by the gigabyte. For various reasons most of the approaches I tried didn’t pan out. We either had to spend a ton of cash to get a pro piece of software to (presumably) do what we needed, or we could spend a lot of time writing our own recursive code via either Powershell or C# and attempt to work around the fact that there is no real recursive copy function in the SharePoint APIs – at least not one that I found.

The approach I ended up going with is undoubtedly brute force, but has been extremely effective. The process is essentially a powershell script that does the following:

  1. Loop through all the target document libraries at the source site
  2. Dynamically create a *mapped drive* to both the Source and Destination locations
  3. Robocopy the files between the two mapped folders – taking advantage of the fact that robocopy doesn’t care that this is sharepoint behind the scenes and handles recursive copy like a walk in the park
  4. Wonder why that wasn’t considerably easier

There is one caveat here – because we were rearranging our library structure, I had already pre-created the destination document libraries. You may well not be in this scenario, in which case you will need to tweak the script to potentially create a document library at the correct location as you go. This would probably be a one line change.

The following script will need to be tweaked to get your source and destination library locations lining up. It won’t work right off the bat, but I did want to provide as a sample to demonstrate that powershell + robocopy can be used to migrate a large amount of content as it took me waaaayy to long to get to this point (thanks MS)


$currentSourceDriveMapping = ""
$currentDestinationDriveMapping = ""

$sourceWeb = Get-SPWeb "http://mysourcelocation"
$destinationWeb =  Get-SPWeb "http://mydestinationsite"

Write-Host "Connected to $sourceWeb"
Write-Host "Connected to $destinationWeb"

Write-Host "Releasing mapped drives"

$sourceLibraries = $sourceWeb.Lists

Write-Host $sourceLibraries.Count + " document libraries found at source location"

$listTemplate = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListTemplateType]::DocumentLibrary

$processedCounter = 1

foreach($currentSourceLibrary in $sourceLibraries){
	Write-Host "Mapping Source Library to S drive"
	$currentSourceDriveMapping = "http://mysourcelocation" + $currentSourceLibrary.RootFolder.ServerRelativeUrl
	Write-Host $currentSourceDriveMapping
	# net use will create a mapped drive using the sharepoint location provided 
	net use s: "$currentSourceDriveMapping"
	Write-Host "Mapping Source Library to T drive"
	# NOTE: Voodoo here that won't apply to you - this made sense in my environment due to restructuring that we were doing
	$currentDestinationDriveMapping = $destinationWeb.Url + "/" + $currentSourceLibrary.Description + "/Tech Notes"
	Write-Host $currentDestinationDriveMapping
	net use t: "$currentDestinationDriveMapping"
	Write-Host "Mapping Source Library to T drive"
	# Robocopy all folders apart from the sharepoint specific Forms folder at the root of the source library
	# Note that robocopy is ideal for this as it already implictly handles recursive copying
	robocopy S: T: /e /xd s:\Forms
	Write-Host "Releasing mapped drives"
	net use s: /delete
	net use t: /delete
	Write-Host $processedCounter " records libraries processed successfully"


I’ve used this script to migrate about 25GB worth of content in 2 hours. It’s not lightning fast, but it got the job done.

There are likely numerous caveats that may apply to you but didn’t to me. Amongst them would be the fact that any relvant permissions, history, properties will almost certainly not be copied over.

If you just need a fairly straight recursive dump of content though this may give you some pointers


We’re having a problem opening this location in File Explorer

If you get the following on a SharePoint 2013 install when trying to use the “Open in Explorer” feature from the server:

We’re having a problem opening this location in File Explorer. Add this web site to your Trusted Sites list and try again

You may need to add the “Desktop Experience” feature as this is not installed on a server OS by default.

You can follow the instructions below:

It should go without saying that you probably don’t want to do this on a production server, but you may need/want to on a development box


Hang whilst configuring farm in SharePoint 2013

I’ve recently been getting a new production SharePoint 2013 farm set up at work. The following cost me a couple of hours so I thought I’d share in case it saves anyone else some time.


  • Provisioning a new Central Admin Site either via Powershell or the SharePoint Configuration Wizard seems to hang. The SharePoint Configuration Wizard will tend to hang at Step 3
  • There are no obvious error messages but nothing seems to be happening – low CPU/Mem/Disk usage on all servers
  • You may find the following placed in the SharePoint logs over and over again:
    • “Not running in high contrast, so we will paint the background with our trademarked image”

This was actually being caused by the Behavior Monitoring feature in our Sophos Antivirus. We had followed the MS guidance on excluding various directories from the virus scans and thought we had it covered. Not so – Sophos was silently crippling performance through its behavior analysis module.

I’m not certain but there was some anecdotal evidence from watching some SQL Server activity that Sophos was limiting the nuymber of simultaneous connections the SharePoint config wizard was being allowed to open at one time.

With Sophos on, only 2 -3 queries would complete per second on the SQL Server. With Sophos uninstalled performance jumped to 10s/100s queries per second. If you are finding similar behaviour where query throughput during large portions of the install is in the toilet, have a look into any antivirus or threat prevention tools you might be running

We havent yet experimented with just disabling the behaviour analysis feature rather than fully uninstalling Sophos so far

sharepoint 2013

SharePoint 2013: Invalid URI: The hostname could not be parsed

A quick tip that might help you if you are setting up a new SharePoint 2013 environment. This tip applies if you get the following symptoms when trying to browse a SharePoint hosted App via your development site collection:

  1. You get Invalid URI: The hostname could not be parsed errors in your event log
  2. Your app doesn’t render correctly with all CSS and images having been stripped away. Using fiddler you might be able to see an HTTP 500 error coming back on each resource request

In my case the issue was a little embarrassing. For reasons that elude me just now I had created the new SharePoint 2013 farm without creating a default/root site collection.

Once you create your root site collection the issue should go away and is probably caused by the development site collection referencing core files in the layouts folder at the root of the site.

Hope that helps someone as it was doing my head in for about an hour!