Pinning folders in Excel 2016 / Office 365

Contributor

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry if this is a topic that's ben done to death but I've had a look and I can't see anything really.

 

We've just moved our users to 365 after a short pilot phase. The biggest problem our users are having (apart from Outlook attachments, don't get me started on that) is accessing files and folders they regularly use in Excel. In Word, we've been showing users how to 'Pin' folders and that generally works for most people. But in Excel, a lot of our users not only cannot pin but they have no recent history accumulating either. Within the IT team we can all pin and see our history.

 

In reading around, I found a long thread suggesting that the Excel team had deliberately removed pinning and the 'correct' method was adding locations to Quick Access. However, if the pinning feature is gone, why can I still do it? I had a user who cannot pin sign into the Office 2016 on the same PC as I had signed into and I could pin and he couldn't. So now I don't know if I am looking at a bug, a permissions issue, or something else entirely.

 

On a seperate but related issue, opening Sharepoint sites in File Explorer via Webdav and pinning those sites to Quick Access is likely to be popular with our users, but it drives a cart and horses through our attempts to move people away from Network Locations and get them actually interacting with SharePoint! I'm confused where MS are going with this...

 

Any ideas folks?

 

Paul

8 Replies

Hi all,

 

Just thought I'd update where we are with this as it's proving a big issue.

 

The story was already unclear re pinning, but a recent update to Office seems to specifically address this issue and adds a new 'Recent' tab to Office 2016 clients. However, this change has only appeared on some clients, despite the versions of Office all being the latest. The same users can log on to different machines, all with the latest Office client, and have different options available in terms of pinning and the Recent tab (or lack of). It's making it impossible at the moment to give our users a coherent story of how to perform different tasks.

 

Our latest focus is on using Quick Access as it seems MS are moving us towards this (any clear guidance from them that you know of would be welcome!) but that isn't straightforward either. Pinnign sites and doc libs to Quick Access FROM WITHIN OFFICE CLIENTS seems to work, the connection 'sticks' and a Quick Access location within Word syncs to Excel etc. However, adding sites or doc libs to Quick Access via File Explorer is less happy. The QA locations are not synced with the locations added within Office, and when a location is added via File Explorer the connection is flaky, sometimes it works, sometimes it gives an error. Opening IE and logging in again generally fixes it but we really need it to work all the time if this is the way users are expected to access their files. Guidance on adding sites to Trusted Sites etc has been followed but nothing has totally resolved the File Explorer QA connection issues yet. Will add more if we find out more. The joys of working on a platform that is still being built it seems!

Hi, not sure the Excel forum is the right area for this Q. Backstage (the area where you see recent, open new files, ..) is part of the Office stack. I think the right group is https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-Apps/ct-p/OfficeApps1 

 

@Alistair Speirs might be the right person to ask or know the right person to ask. 

 

I just checked quickly in my version of Excel, I am able to Pin files and folders that show as part of Recent, but not when I browse via a content source (places). In other words I need to have opened the files or folder once before and then I will be able to Pin it. (Sites beeing the exception for this). This makes sense as all the other files are mine (OneDrive personal and bussiness). 

 

Hope that helps

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Olaf,

 

Thanks for the response, appreciate it. I can't get the link you posted to work sadly. I'm happy to repost in the Office community, I can see one called Office 365, is that the one? (Sorry, still a newbie round here).

 

Paul

I meant to link to the Office Apps group

We are having the same issue. I am trying to roll out outlook groups but cant give my users a consistent way of accessing the excel files in the library. Pinning  works for some users and not for others apparently on the same version. It worked for me yesterday but today I can ping locations I visited yesterday and earlier but not the new groups I created today ? very frustrating, I have spent ages trying to convince users to move away from file server shares and issues such as this really don't help. you mention quick access ? we are on windows 7 , is this a windows 10 thing ?

Also, if you can't pin group file locations in excel , how can you, 'save as', a file in a new group ?


@Richard Theakston wrote:

We are having the same issue. I am trying to roll out outlook groups but cant give my users a consistent way of accessing the excel files in the library. Pinning  works for some users and not for others apparently on the same version. It worked for me yesterday but today I can ping locations I visited yesterday and earlier but not the new groups I created today ? very frustrating, I have spent ages trying to convince users to move away from file server shares and issues such as this really don't help. you mention quick access ? we are on windows 7 , is this a windows 10 thing ?


 

Hi Richard,

 

I wish I had better answers to this! Hopefully someone else does or there is an improvement on the way.

 

I still don't really understand where the different Office client teams are going with Pinning. I had read it was being phased out, and some users can, some can't do it. However, a recent addition was a 'Recent' tab in Excel and I can still pin and unpin recent folders/locations in that tab. Whether pinning is here to stay I don't know. For now we are relying on Quick Access shortcuts, which is Windows 10, but I believe to be the same essentially as Network Locations in Windows 7. We too were looking forward to getting rid of these when we migrated to 365 so now having to use Quick Access was really annoying, for the same reasons network locations were annoying - encourages users to just use SPO as a file share.

 

As for Groups, we're not really using them much at the moment apart from as Distribution Lists (with the benefit that themed conversations are stored, and not lost to inboxes forever). My understanding is that each group is created in it's own Site Collection. And so I think that means that each Group would have to be added seperately as a new Network Location (or in my case Quick Access shortcut). Otherwise it's a case of File Upload which I imagine is about as popular in your workplace as it is in mine.

 

As I said, hopefully someone with a bigger brain than mine can provide better solutions to this than I have managed to do.

 

Paul

 

Thanks for this Paul, yes it's very frustrating, I will investigate Network locations and see if that can help us in the short term.


@Paul Chapman wrote:

Hi Richard,

 

I wish I had better answers to this! Hopefully someone else does or there is an improvement on the way.

 

I still don't really understand where the different Office client teams are going with Pinning. I had read it was being phased out, and some users can, some can't do it. However, a recent addition was a 'Recent' tab in Excel and I can still pin and unpin recent folders/locations in that tab. Whether pinning is here to stay I don't know. For now we are relying on Quick Access shortcuts, which is Windows 10, but I believe to be the same essentially as Network Locations in Windows 7. We too were looking forward to getting rid of these when we migrated to 365 so now having to use Quick Access was really annoying, for the same reasons network locations were annoying - encourages users to just use SPO as a file share.

 

As for Groups, we're not really using them much at the moment apart from as Distribution Lists (with the benefit that themed conversations are stored, and not lost to inboxes forever). My understanding is that each group is created in it's own Site Collection. And so I think that means that each Group would have to be added seperately as a new Network Location (or in my case Quick Access shortcut). Otherwise it's a case of File Upload which I imagine is about as popular in your workplace as it is in mine.

 

As I said, hopefully someone with a bigger brain than mine can provide better solutions to this than I have managed to do.

 

Paul