SharePoint 2016 new and improved features

Microsoft released SharePoint server 2016 with lots of new and improved features. This SharePoint 2016 tutorial explains various new and improved features in the SharePoint server 2016.

Also, we will discuss what are the features deprecated in SharePoint Server 2016.

Overall, SharePoint server 2016 has an improved user experience like app launcher, few UI changes for better user experiences and it has improved the mobile experience. And also SharePoint 2016 has hybrid OneDrive for Business which users can use for cloud storage.

New and improved features in SharePoint Server 2016

Below are a few new and improved features in SharePoint server 2016.

  • Large file support
  • No SharePoint 2016 central administration
  • Document Library Accessibility
  • Supported Special Characters in File Name
  • Image and Video file Preview
  • Open Document Format (ODF) format supported
  • MinRole
  • Durable Link
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Zero Downtime Patching Installation
  • Automatic Index Management
  • First Site Collection Creation
  • SMTP Encryption
  • Project Server Integration
  • SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Feature
  • SharePoint Search Service application improvements

No SharePoint 2016 central administration in all server

When you run SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard, then SharePoint Server 2016 Central Administration is provisioned on the first server in a farm by default, it is not provisioned on additional servers in a farm by default.

Large File Support

In SharePoint 2013, the maximum file size was 2GB or 2047 MB. But in SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has increased the maximum file size limit to 10GB as a supported limit.

As a SharePoint administrator, you can change to beyond recommended 10GB limit from SharePoint 2016 central administration.

Open SharePoint 2016 central administration, click on “Manage web applications” which is under Application Management and then select the particular web application and then click on General settings -> General Settings. In the web application General Settings page you can change the “Maximum Upload Size” to your required number.

sharepoint 2016 new features
sharepoint 2016 new features

If you have increased this limit, as an administrator you need to do your own load and performance testing.

Document Library Accessibility

Few new features are introduced to work with SharePoint 2016 document libraries. Like:

  • Landmarks to a page make it easier to navigate, and there are alt text improvements for all major navigation links.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are provided for the following document tasks:
    • Alt + N -> New
    • Alt + E -> Edit
    • Alt + U -> Upload
    • Alt + M -> Manage
    • Alt + S -> Share
    • Alt + Y -> Synchronization
  • Focus improvements, such as keeping the focus on prior elements and focus trapping.
  • Announcements for upload progress.
  • Announcements for the file name and file types when browsing folder and file lists.
  • Improved callout reading.
  • Fixed use of color issues for views switcher.
  • Updates to the Help documentation.

Supported Special Characters in File Name

In previous versions of SharePoint, there were restrictions on file names, that included the &, ~, {, and } characters, file names that contained a GUID, file names with leading dots, and file names longer than 128 characters. These are now allowed in SharePoint server 2016. But characters such as % and # are still not allowed in file names.

Image and Video file Preview

In SharePoint 2016, you can see images and videos preview on mouse hover.

Open Document Format (ODF) available for document libraries

In SharePoint 2016, the Open Document Format (ODF) enables you to create new files in a document library and save as ODF files so that users can edit the new file with a program they choose.


In SharePoint 2013, we need to start services manually in each server, whether it is an application server, search server you have to manually start required services. Microsoft has simplified this deployment process by introducing new topology known as MinRole.

In MinRole, instead of starting services manually on servers, Microsoft hard-coded which services run on which server.

In each server in MinRole topology farm, there will be 6 roles:

  • Front-End
  • Application
  • Distributed Cache
  • Search
  • Custom
  • Single-Server Farm

Once you choose a role, SharePoint will automatically start the services required for the server and stop those services if the Service Application no longer required in the farm.

Durable Link

A durable link is another useful feature in SharePoint 2016. In previous versions of SharePoint the document URLs are path-based URLs like below:

So if someone renames the document or move it to a different folder or document library then the URL will be broken and if a user clicks on the link to open the document, it will give file or document not found exception.

But in SharePoint 2016 the Durable link feature allows users to rename the document or even it allows to move the document throughout the same site collection without breaking the link URL. Whatever you do, the link will work.

The feature will be available after you install and configure Office Web Apps service. The feature works for Office documents like Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and PDF file types.

Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has been already introduced in SharePoint online and Microsoft brings this feature in SharePoint server 2016. By using the DLP feature, SharePoint administrators and enterprise compliance managers can find sensitive information in documents, and make sure their use respects the company’s policies.

In SharePoint server 2016, the DLP system finds, report and also it can block so that other users can not access the document from the whole SharePoint farm.

It can find over 51 sensitive information types like credit cards, Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, passports, etc. Only site owners, users who created the document and the last person who modified the document can be able to see the documents.

For other users it will give access errors like “Access to this item is blocked. It conflicts with a policy in your organizations.”

Zero Downtime Patching Installation

In previous versions of SharePoint, it takes a sufficient amount of times, even hours to install patching or cumulative updates. But in SharePoint server 2016, there will not be any downtime for cumulative updates.

List View Threshold

Microsoft has recommended a 5000 item threshold limit while retrieving list items from a SharePoint list. The recommendation is to make sure the list loads fast.

At a time, if you try to retrieve items more than 5000 list items, then List View Threshold issue will come. In SQL Server also whenever you will execute a query that will return more than 500 items then SQL will lock that table until the query finishes executing.