Behavior change to look up fields in SharePoint list quick edit view

Occasional Contributor

I have just started my working week to find that when trying to manually type in a value in a lookup field won't work anymore while in quick edit view. It is now forcing me to click with the mouse to bring up the list, to then scroll and select. This is very painful compared with being able to type in the first three to four characters and then select what I want without having to use the mouse.

Is this a glitch with a recent update since the end of October, or a deliberate change?


As it stands, this means that I have to manually scroll through a list of over 800 items on a number of fields as they are linked to other SharePoint lists. I don't think it is as much of an issue for drop-downs that have only 3-4 options in them, but this is not workable for Lookup columns that are referring to lots of data on other lists.

I have tried three different browsers (Chrome, Mozilla and IE) with all three exhibiting the same behavior.

11 Replies
Is anyone else experiencing this? Surely others are using lookup fields that link multiple SharePoint lists. I would really like to know if this is a bug that needs fixing, or if developers for SharePoint have decided that this is how lookup fields are going to work....Is there a place I should go to find info on latest updates, or is there a setting that I need to adjust? I can't seem to find anything to help at this stage. Any help or info would be appreciated.

@LabDude09 - yes we started noticing this issues this week as well for both choice and lookup columns in SPO. Any resolution or workaround?

@Greg Gieseke Thanks for the reply but unfortunately at this stage there are no changes or workarounds. The closest I can come, is to copy data into the next set of rows that sits in close proximity to the data I need in the list that is being looked up (sorry if that doesn't make sense), and then go back and modify to the correct data. What would normally take me one or two minutes to add data to a list, is now taking upwards of 5-10 minutes, which is far from ideal in a work environment that is high paced. Hopefully it is temporary, but if anyone knows how to get the attention of SharePoint developers so that they can look into it, please let me know and I will follow it up with them.

@LabDude09 - I opened a ticket and they claimed that nothing has changed and it has functioned this way for at least the past 3 years. They essentially claimed that me and my internal customers are misguided in how we thought the quick edit with choice and lookup columns used to work in quick edit just a few short weeks ago. Unfortunately whatever "didn't" change, changed in all sites and site collections so there isn't any way for me to prove otherwise.

@Greg Gieseke- thanks for helping follow up on this. It is very disheartening to hear that this is their response....Could you please guide me as to where I can open my own ticket? I am thinking that if more people raise this directly, they may start to look into it, or perhaps acknowledge that something has changed.....
My only other thoughts, are whether a global setting has been changed by the administrator/owner of SharePoint account (I am not sure how all this works, but I would be surprised if the guys who oversee SharePoint for our company, would have bothered to alter any setting that would change something like this). I am still learning about permissions etc.

I'm really wishing I had kept some screen shots of me working with my lists so we had actual proof....


Lastly, it doesn't make sense to me, for the lookup columns to behave the way they currently do. Why would you want to have to scroll through hundreds of rows of data to make one selection. The whole idea of a lookup column, is to link the lists (like tables in a traditional database) which I would imagine in most cases, are not small lists. A drop down selection, I can understand, but not a look up column.

Just bumping this again to see if others have been experiencing the same issue. I unfortunately don't have any screen shots as proof that the behaviour has changed recently, but I have spent the last six months building lists and entering thousands of rows of data in, where I have been able to type it in and allow SharePoint to start displaying the closest match. I could then press the tab button to move to the next column/field. 

Given look up columns are designed to link lists together, and the possibility of these lists growing is extremely high, why would you want to be forced to scroll through thousands of data points in a drop down list every time you need to select data for the list you are in?

As an update to this, I have started work this morning following all my usual steps with opening my SharePoint Lists, but for some reason when I open lists that don't contain any JSON formatting, they open in classic experience?? I don't know why, but using the lists this way, enables the Autocomplete function to work again.....
So at the moment, as far as I can see, the issue I have been having is happening when editing a list in Modern view. While I prefer that I can continue using modern view over classic, at least I can now enter data efficiently. I would still say that this issue isn't resolved until it is possible for the Autocomplete function to work in Modern view

@Greg Gieseke Just in case you haven't been keeping an eye on this discussion anymore, I have accidentally stumbled on a workaround. You can enter data as per normal (prior to the change a few weeks ago) by using classic experience. See my last reply for more info, but here is a screen shot to show what is happening with classic experience, that was happening while in Modern view;



@LabDude09 - thanks for sharing a workaround. 

@LabDude09I noticed this as well and have been waiting for Microsoft to address the autocomplete in the Modern view. Has there been any action or response from Microsoft regarding this? We also have lookup fields with hundreds of items and this continues to be an issue. To flip all of the lists to the classic experience will be a bit time consuming and frustrating for the average users on my team. I have been unable to find anything with a response from Microsoft on this particular issue. Thanks so much!

@TMercier have not done anything in Sharepoint for a while and went to set up a new list.  Shocking that this could be the behavior.  Will try your work around.  Thanks so much for sharing.