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Background

My organisation is moving towards O365 and SharePoint Online is being developed in the background. Our live system is SP 2013 and Internet Explorer has been the most compatible browser (e.g. Open with Explorer). When using Chrome with SP 2013, there were always some limitations and sometimes page contents sometimes rendered a little differently - we have custom pages created with html/css and sometimes JavaScript.

SP Online / O365

MS recommended Edge for use with SharePoint Online. So, in the real world, what is the best browser to use with SPO? Are there still limitations or little bugs when using Chrome or Firefox?

I've read some different opinions on this, but I trust SPSE as a source. I appreciate this might be a question that invites opinion-based answers, but I'm interested to hear about limitations in using one browser over another and e.g. whether there are any rendering issues. It might be that SPO differs substantially from SP 2013 On Premise, so that the the bugs with the latter no longer apply.

Research

Only rather patchy links here...

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/sharepoint-best-browser-to-use/9238cc7a-0410-4a36-a7d5-0954b4049325

https://office365itpros.com/2020/08/24/dump-internet-explorer/ (IE dead, no surprise there)

Is there an official web browser for on-premises SharePoint 2013 (this relates to SP 2013 - but I'd like some info similar to the answers to this question)

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Microsoft recommends the Microsoft Edge browser for use with SharePoint Online.

So IMO, The new Microsoft Edge is the best browser to use with SharePoint Online.

Also, both new Microsoft Edge & Google chrome browsers are based on Chromium. You can find more detailed comparison in this article: Google Chrome vs. Microsoft Edge: Which browser is best?

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    the article you've linked to is really a good one, thanks for posting this. – Tally Jun 4 at 11:22
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With regard to your comment about the Open in Explorer button in a document library, IE is your only option because that is an ActiveX function, and none of the modern browsers support ActiveX.

In SPO, Microsoft is ever-so-gently nudging you into using the OneDrive client, because the alternative to the Open in Explorer button is to click the Sync button. Doing that makes the library visible in Windows Explorer, using the OD client under the hood.

We have seen a lot of variation between how Edge and IE render pages and custom forms, even with OOTB stuff. Our environment includes 2013, 2016, and 2019 on-premises farms with Nintex, as well as SPO.

We've worked past several of these, but Edge problems included: not being able to publish/import workflows and forms, overlapping fields and borders on forms, opening Visio docs & then clicking Open in Visio fails, differences using window.close(), mht & mhtml files embedded in webparts download to the client instead of displaying on the page, embedded TIF files on pages don't download or display, Edge will not pass credentials to shortname non-fqdn urls, like http://whatever/sites/yoursite, cross origin resource sharing policy errors, and file:/// links don't open.

In our testing, IE was almost always better, but of course it's not a viable long term option. Some issues were the result of increased security in Edge over IE, so I would bet similar issues would happen in other modern browsers, but our focus was Edge because that was what we were forced to use.

Here's an actual bug we found in Edge, albeit minor: you cannot use the tab key to advance through an MMS field on a form; once you're in that field, you have to click your mouse somewhere to get out of it - the M$ escalation engineer told me that their DEVOPS team denied it was a bug because it was doing that by design (I politely replied that while that could be true, that doesn't make it a good design).

We've seen a ton of caching issues with Edge on forms that have custom javascript, and it does not allow you to empty the cache for a specific url every time the browser closes (it's an all or nothing setting). Chrome does allow you to do that at a more granular level, if that's important to you. *Update - apparently this has been added in a recent update to Edge.

IMHO it boils down to which activities your users do most in your environment, and which is the lesser of the available evils. That's probably not super helpful or optimistic, but I think doing a lot of testing is probably your best bet. Good luck!

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  • Thanks for taking the time to answer and for all the detail you've included, that'll help others too. I'm not familiar with MMS fields, what are they? I have a custom form created using html/css/javascript (the standard form is hidden and the custom form is used for data entry), I tested it in edge and found I could tab through the fields. Perhaps the form with the MMS field is a custom or 3rd party one? – Tally Jun 7 at 15:02
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    My bad, Tally - sorry for the unexplained shorthand. I was referring to what SharePoint On-Premises calls a Managed Metadata column type in a list, or what SharePoint Online calls a termstore/termset column. It's essentially a globally available droplist type of field that's managed at the farm level on-prem or at the tenant level in SPO. A decent example would be a Country droplist - a column that you can add into pretty much any list (generally speaking; you can secure them if you want, of course). – SharePoint Elder Jun 8 at 16:10
  • This explains it better than I can, lol. support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/… – SharePoint Elder Jun 8 at 16:17

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