New support for # and % in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business


As William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Files are as unique as the people who create them and we’re constantly working in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business to support a broad array of types and naming conventions.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be shipping support for # and % as supported characters in file and folder names across document libraries in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.  This will allow people to create, store, and sync files containing # and % characters whether those characters are used as a prefix or suffix to the file or folder name.  # and % will be limited to use in file names in addition to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business document libraries and related folders.  The use of # and % outside of document libraries is not supported at this time.

characters

Getting Started with # and %

# and % support is not enabled by default in your Office 365 Tenant and will be gradually introduced over the next several weeks.  You can immediately opt in to this release starting today using the Windows PowerShell cmdlet provided later in this post.

For new Office 365 Tenants, in June 2017, support for # and % will enabled by default when the Tenant is provisioned.  If you would like to opt out of # and % support for your Office 365 Tenant using the Windows PowerShell cmdlet provided later in this post you must do so by September 2017.

All existing Office 365 Tenants that have not opted into # and % support by H2 2017 will have # and % support enabled by default.

Enabling # and % Support (Tenant Administrators)

To enable # and % support using SharePoint Online PowerShell commands, you must be a SharePoint Online global administrator.  There will be no initial administrator web-based user experience (e.g. SharePoint Online and/or OneDrive for Business admin centers).

Before you can run SharePoint Online commands, you must install the SharePoint Online Management Shell module and connect to the SharePoint Online service. For more information, see Connect to SharePoint Online PowerShell.

NOTE

Prior to enabling support for # and % in your Office 365 Tenant, ensure any 3rd party solutions you are using have been updated to supported the new APIs necessary to support this change.  For information on updated APIs for # and % support see also https://dev.office.com/blogs/upcoming-changes-to-sharepoint-and-onedrive-for-business-apis-to-support-and-in-file-names.

Command:

Get-SPOTenant/Set-SPOTenant

Parameter:

SpecialCharactersStateInFileFolderNames

Value:

Allowed

Allows # and % characters in file and folder names in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business document libraries.

Disallowed

Disallows the # and % characters in file and folder names in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business document libraries.

NoPreference

# and % support will be enabled by Microsoft on your Office 365 Tenant when available.
NoPreference state is the default state before we enable # and % on behalf of Office 365 Tenants following the schedule mentioned previously. In this state, # and % are turned off and tenant admins can run Set command to switch it to either Allowed or Disallowed. Once it is set by tenant admins, we will not change the setting when we enable on # and % on behalf of Office 365 Tenants. In addition, this is a read-only state, so it can not be set by running the Set command.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Is support for # % enabled by default in my Office 365 Tenant?

A:  No.  Support for # % must be enabled by the Tenant Administrator, unless your tenant is created after the June timeframe, as noted above.

Q:  As a developer are there any API changes I need to be aware of?

A:  Yes.  For developer documentation and updates refer to https://dev.office.com/blogs/upcoming-changes-to-sharepoint-and-onedrive-for-business-apis-to-support-and-in-file-names.

Q:  At what levels of the system is this support being added?

A:  Files and folders with SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business document libraries will now be able to support # and % in their file name.  While SharePoint lists and libraries can have # and % in their URLs, there are no plans to enable their use through the SharePoint user interface at this time.  In addition SharePoint sites (Web objects) and site collections (Site objects) can not have # and ; in their URL.

Q:  Can I search for files containing # and % in the name(s)?

A:  Yes; however, # and % are escaped characters therefore cannot be used independently in the composition of a query.  I.e.  “where contains ‘#’”.

Q:  When will the rollout of # and % support be completed?

A:  Rollout will commence in June 2017 for new Office 365 Tenants and H2 CY2017 for existing Office 365 Tenants.  Scheduled completing depends on a number of factors and will be updated throughout the rollout.

Q:  Does the Groove sync client support # and %.

A:  No.  Support is limited to the new OneDrive for Business sync client.  To determine which sync client is best for your scenario or which sync client you are using see also https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/wbaer/2017/03/23/which-onedrive-for-business-sync-client-is-right-for-me/.

Comments (2)

  1. Linas says:

    What does H2 CY2017 mean?

    1. The second half of calendar year 2017.

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