How is the '+ New' menu populated in document libraries?


By default, mine includes:


Fig 1Fig 1


















Now I was under the impression that each entry represents a content type?


So why, when I enable 'allow management of content types' in 'Library settings > Advanced settings' is there only one content type listed - Document? And why when I go to 'Change new button order and default content type' is there only one entry listed - Document? Surely every entry should have its own content type which I should be able to delete, modify and reorder?


If I add a second content type, in this example I've gone with 'Leon' because I'm a narcissist, the number of entries is reduced to:


Fig 2Fig 2














This actually makes more sense to me, the 'Leon' content type is shown in addition to the original 'Document' content type. Two content types, two menu entries (we'll ignore Folder/Link). If I then delete the 'Leon' content type, things revert back to Fig 1.


I'm really confused and can only summise that the default shown in Fig 1 is some kind of bespoke and uneditable variety of the menu that's only available when the Document content type is used on its own.

18 Replies

Without knowing, my guess is that these Office documents including the Excel Survey comes from a different source. When you haven't added custom content type(s), they show up to enable users to create office documents without an installed client application.


But when you actually configure you doc lib, then these default office content types are removed. Hopefully this can be clairyfied soon.


Great question!


Digging further into the issue, I compared the source code of the two different configuration options. First with the default setting (but with allow management of content types: yes) and the second one with my custom content type.


As expected, my new content type is rendered as a JSON-object on the page itself, which (naturally) isn't present without the custom content type. But that is the only thing that differs. Everything else on the page source code is equal. 




On an unchanged Document Library, only the default “Document” content type is shown in the source code, but not visible on the “New” button. You see “Word-document” but nut the actual content type “Document” in the library. But wait! What’s happening here? This can’t be right? Can it?


My guess is equal to my previous comment, that the source is different. If you haven’t made any changes to the document types, they don’t show. They are replaced from a different source, since they aren’t present on the page itself. Interestingly when creating a new document library selecting Document Template to “None” or “Microsoft Word Document” (which is default), you get the list of office document template to choose from. Select any other document template, you see the actual content types. Kind of ambiguous, I think.




So the recommendation would be to always add your own content type on new document libraries to avoid possible confusion among our users.


@Deleted and @Leon Summerfield-Kehoe - I was thinking that I should create content types in my content type hub with default templates for Word, Excel, PPTX, OneNote.  Those Content Types could be added to libraries if people wanted equivalent options after turning on 'Allow management of Content types'. I suppose I should stop thinking and just do it and then test the experience.  Would this work around work for you?  Greg

It would work, and user experience would be better. Still one wonders where the original four options come from, and if we can change them from this yet undisclosed source...
If you only have the default document content type then the new button will default to the 4 basic documents that can be created in Office Online server. If you add custom content types then the assumption is that each custom content type has a custom template associated with it. So then the New button will default to showing you the different document templates associated with each content type. This is all by design,

In other words, there's no way to edit the '+ New' menu. You cannot reorder items, nor can you remove items. If you want to modify the '+ New' menu you must have two or more content types associated with the library.


If you don't use custom content types then there is no way to edit the menu. In tht case it will show the 4 default document types available in Office Online. If you do use custom content types then the menu will reflect the list of content type templates in the order that you specify in the content type list in the library.  You can specify the order of the content types when you add them to the library.  You can also hide content types from being displayed on the New button.

Didn't I say the same thing, phrased as a question? I just got a little more detailed and said I would create content types in the content type hub with default templates.

Yes, I also said the same thing in an earlier reply.  But I was responding to Leon's last post that started out "In Other Words..."


Well if we're going to get petty, with the exception of @Deleted, neither of you have added anything that I hadn't already covered in my original post. Smiley Tongue


@Leon Summerfield-Kehoe - Well I don't want to be accused of being petty.  I just re-read your original post and I didn't see a suggestion to create content types in the content type hub with templates for the basic office document types.  You did say that you only saw the custom content types on the new menu that you added, so I can understand how you think I didn't offer anything new.


I will make an effort to adjust my responses to more of a "yes and ...".  So yes Leon, the only content types you see on the new menu after you 'allow management of content types' and add content types are the content types you added..... and if you create some standard content types in the Content Type Hub and provide some guidance on how to use them, you can help your users partially replicate the new menu as it works on a libary that does NOT allow management of content types.  I realize this doesn't address everything in your original post but hopefully it adds something to the discussion.  :)






Hi, I've been playing around with Documents Sets and don't agree that everything is working by design, compared to the classic view.

This all might make sense if you are using a custom content type that represents a document, but it doesn't fit if it's document set.

Classic Experience:

  • Single Content Type: Document Set
  • You can only add "Document Set" at the top level
  • You can add "Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote" file within a document set


New Experience:

  • Single Content Type: Document Set
  • You can add "Document Set" and "Link" as content types at the top level
  • You can again add "Document Set" and "Link" as a content type within the document set itself


To me the "new experience" doesn't make any sense, when I imagine an information worker that is supposed to "only work" within Office 365 and Office Online. How are we supposed to create documents in the document set, without using other tools (e.g. Uploads) ?


Did you add custom content types to the DocSet settings?  Here's what I did and I get a different result then you.


  1. Created Doc Set content type called MyDocSet
  2. Created Excel content type with Excel spreadsheet as template
  3. Added Excel content type to MyDocSet settings
  4. Added MyDocSet content type to library content types and removed Document


When in the library the new button shows Folder, MyDocset, and Link

When inside the DocSet I see Document, Excel, and link.


That's the way I would expect it to operate.  If you are doing DocSets you really should be managing the document content types that can be added to the Docset.  If you leave it at just Document the new button won't operate correctly because its already been thrown off by the addition of the Document set Content type which cases it to show only the content types that have been added.


One additional correction.  I just removed the extra content type from my document set so its just document (the default) and now when inside the document set the new button shows Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and folder.  Which is what I think you were expecting.  Not sure why you are seeing something different.


No, I have specifically not created special XLTX, DOTX Content Types.

What I have described is just a single content type "Document Set".

All I did was switch the library experience from NEW to CLASSIC, and suddenly you have different results. 

If you come from the classic the experience that the NEW feels definitely off.


That's the point of my second response.  I'm wasn't seeing the same thing you are.  When inside the document set, with just the default document content type in the settings, I was seeing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc on the new button just like the classic experience.  Now that I switched the experience between Classic and New I'm seeing what you are.


  1. Definately seems to be some kind of bug for the New button when switching between experiences
  2. If you manage content types that can be added into document set, instead of relying on just document, then you get a consisten list.

So I would recommend always using specific content types added in the document set settings to avoid the bug.


Does anyone know how to get to the +New, if you accidentally made everything unavailable on it by unticking everything?


the +New has disappeared entirely and I dont know how to get it back!




Hi @JulieG1974 and others in the thread, I hope this info helps. 

Introducing a new content type to a library, first you go to settings and "Allow management of content types". This "mode of operation" is what replaces the generic office templates in the "New" menu with the newly introduced content type(s) and allows you to assign a specific content type to documents in your library.

Once this is done, and if you have sufficient rights, you should be able to choose New > Edit new menu option and re-select the "lost" office templates. 

In certain cases, if you have introduced only one custom content type to the library, which you've also set to be the default CT for all documents - you can go to library settings and revert "Allow management of content types" back to "No". This will reverse the process and re-introduce all the generic templates in the "New" menu whilst retaining the ability to assign your default custom content type to new docs. Remember though, this alternative is useful if you have only one custom content type which you have also set as default

Hope his helps someone.