Get prepared for the modern search experience in classic SharePoint sites

Four years have passed since the introduction of modern SharePoint and the modern experience continues to take over the classic features, the last victim is the search.

Starting late January 2021 classic Team sites will gradually start receiving the modern search experience, meaning that the search bar will be moved to the suite navigation bar.

Modern search experience in classic sites

To avoid service disruption there are a few exceptions to where this feature does not apply, like:

  • Classic publishing features turned on
  • Custom result types
  • Complex query rules on the default result source.

Courtesy of Microsoft in the following images you can see the differences between the classic and modern SharePoint experiences.

Classic SharePoint search experience

Classic SharePoint search experience in classic sites

Modern SharePoint search experience

Modern SharePoint search experience in classic sites

How to disable the modern SharePoint search experience

In case your site is not one of the exceptions and you still want to keep the classic search experience to prepare your users for the change you can use PnP PoweShell to disable it by doing the following:

  1. Connect to the site collection where you want to disable the modern search experience by running the cmdlet
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url "yoursiteurl" -UseWebLogin
  2. Run the following cmdlet to get it disabled
    Set-PnPSearchSettings -Scope Site -SearchBoxInNavBar ModernOnly

By executing these 2 instructions the modern search experience will be only available in modern only, this cmdlet can be executed prior the change to take place and once it is released to the tenant it will respect the preferences you have defined with PowerShell.

How to enable the modern SharePoint search experience

When prepared to embrace the modern search experience you can enable it using the same PnP PowerShell script in the following order:

  1. Connect to the site collection where you want to enable the modern search experience by running the cmdlet
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url "yoursiteurl" -UseWebLogin
  2. Run the following cmdlet to get it enabled back
    Set-PnPSearchSettings -Scope Site -SearchBoxInNavBar AllPages

To know more about how the modern and classic SharePoint search experiences can be controlled using PnP PowerShell have a look to this documentation page.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply


I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.