Modern UI bulk edit changes content type of selected items to first one selected

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Occasional Contributor

Update 21-Feb-19: After being acknowledged by SharePoint Engineering, it seems this bug has been fixed now. I've tested on a couple of different tenants, including one on Standard Release.

 

Having spent the best part of a week trying to convince MS Support to escalate to SharePoint Engineering, I thought I'd ask the question here to see if anyone else can corroborate my findings.

 

I have a document library with multiple content types.

DocumentsInLibrary.PNG

When I select multiple documents and make a change to a common metadata column (e.g. a choice field) then when I hit save not only do all items get that selected value (i.e. the intended outcome) but the content type of all the selected items is changed to the value of the first item selected (with absolutely nothing done with the Content Type dropdown in the Details Pane).BulkEditChange.PNG

 

PostSave2.PNG

 

 

I'd imagine this has some pretty serious implications. Can anyone else confirm this is happening in their tenants too?

 

7 Replies
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I can repeat that scenario on my test tenant. Looks like a bug to me.

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Yes i was able to reproduce the same issue in my tenant.

 

 

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I could agree this is a bug, but when you edit a simple file you need to specify the content type and I think the bulk edit is just doing the same: you are updating metadata, but in the process is required a content type...if you don't select one, it takes one of the available
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I think the point is that I am updating existing items that already have applied metadata, including the selection of the content type. In the example screenshots above I've simplified down the content types and columns for the benefit of MS Support (so that there can be no ambiguity about the issue) but in other examples the content type might have many more fields (e.g. "Effective Date" or "Projected Cost") and in the modern UI bulk editing experience if these columns are not modified then the underlying items retain whatever original value they have (i.e. they are not changed). The exception being "Content Type", which is arbitrarily overridden and set to the value of the first item selected.

 

I think the implications of this unexpected (and frankly wrong) behaviour has the potential to be highly damaging especially if processing logic is triggered on the change of items and decisions are based off the Content Type or how it might affect Labels, classification & retention in a large scale document management system.

 

I'm glad that it appears that others are able to confirm that they are able to re-create the issue. Time will tell how long it lands in front of someone in SharePoint Engineering.

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Hi Simon, did you get any answers from SharePoint Engineering on this? 

Just to add something here, I think this behaviour in general might be related to how editing items currently works in modern, on lists or on libraries. Currently there's no way to unselect a value in a dropdown field (Choice or Lookup). In the classic interface we had a (None) option to clear the value, but not anymore. I think it's huge oversight from the Engineering and might be causing your problem as well. The first value in a dropdown gets selected even if it doesn't show on the form. Notice how your content types got changed to the MS Support Content Type A which is the first in the list of content types, and not to the content type of the first selected list item. 

To reproduce, just try to add new list item, puts a cursor on the first field and start tabbing through the fields, all dropdown fields will automatically get their first value selected, even if they are not required! And there no (None) value to choose to clear them:

 

ChoiceFieldNONone.PNG

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Hi @Elena Nakhmanson ,

 

Prompted by your message, I have just checked and the bug appears to have been fixed. I think it is a recent update as I'm sure I checked not that long ago and it was still happening.

 

Sadly, despite raising the issue via Microsoft Support, the only notification I received was that the Engineering team had acknowledged the issue. There was no notification received to say the fix was being rolled out.

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Hi Simon, thanks for the update. It seems your issue has been fixed, however an ability to clear a value from a non-required dropdown is still missing. Will have to submit a new support request :(