SharePoint’s Edit in Datasheet broken? Try this!

Having to support multiple clients across a myriad of SharePoint flavors, I’ve had my share of issues with Datasheet mode. On any given week, I can find myself working across SharePoint 2013 (on-prem and in Office 365), SharePoint 2010 (Foundation & Server), SharePoint 2007 (WSS & MOSS) and even occasionally still, some SharePoint 2003. Couple that with installed versions of SharePoint Designer 2013, 2010 & 2007 plus a constant flow of Windows & Office updates (I’m currently running Win8 x64 + Office 2013 x64) and I seem to regularly encounter this:


As has been blogged numerous times elsewhere on the web, you can often fix this error by downloading & installing the “2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components” (sometimes referred to as the “Access Database Engine”) from Microsoft here:

However, all too often, I find that while installing the above allows me to then access Datasheet view, the result is a crippled version. Just some of the limitations I run into include:

  • The inability to drag & select more than one cell at a time
  • The inability to delete more than one row at a time
  • The inability to drag & move columns
  • The inability to resize columns
  • And perhaps the most limiting feature, the inability to drag the + icon in the bottom-right of a cell to auto-populate additional cells or rows

Fortunately, I found all the above (and probably more) problems are resolved with a second, less-discussed package. Also available for free from Microsoft, you’ll want to download & install the “Microsoft Office Access Runtime and Data Connectivity 2007 Service Pack 2″ from here:

My guess is some, if not all, of the necessary files & configuration changes included in these packages were originally part of the Office 2007 Suite installation; so when you upgraded your installation of Office (or your entire machine) to Office 2010 or 2013, and especially if you jumped to a 64-bit version of Office, said files were no longer being found by the browser when attempting to Edit in Datasheet. In my experience across an array of machines with varying Windows & Office versions, these two packages have always restored Datasheet mode – hope they help you!

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