Why Won’t SharePoint Designer Recognize IE8? Firefox!

1 minute read

I loaded IE8 about a month ago and since then I’ve been getting the error below after I check in a page.  First, the usual message that the page needs to be approved:


If I choose ‘Yes’, I get the error: “A World Wide Web browser, such as Windows Internet Explorer, is required to use this feature.”, as below:


I did some surfing, and I’m not the only one seeing this behavior.  Others are seeing it in other instances that actually prevent them from accomplishing the task at hand.  My guess is that it is a bug, since IE8 is still in Beta.  The workaround is simple in this case: Just keep a browser window open to Galleries/Master pages and page layouts/My Submissions view in the Site Settings (http://[servername]/_catalogs/masterpage/Forms/my-sub.aspx).  This is the page that SharePoint Designer sends you to, which is convenient, but hardly a show-stopper if you can’t get there automagically.

UPDATE 2009-04-10: Well, IE8 is fully released now, and I’m still seeing this issue.  I still haven’t solved it with all my poking around and I’m still just working around it.  Anyone out there found a solution?

UPDATE 2009-04-19: Found the answer in a discussion that covered this message from a different angle.  The problem had nothing to do with SharePoint Designer or IE8, per se.  I had Firefox installed on my machine so that I could test how pages look in it, and somehow it was registered as the default program for something that SharePoint Designer must not have liked.  By uninstalling Firefox, the problem went away.  When I reinstalled Firefox (I still wanted it), I simply unchecked the option for Firefox to be the default browser, and all was good.  Simple solution to an annoying problem!  Sorry to cast aspersions on IE8, as it didn’t really have much, if anything, to do with it.



  1. Not to beat a dead horse here, but I just experienced this problem AFTER installing Opera. Here’s a short list of things to note:

    1. Uninstalling Opera did NOT resolve the issue
    2. Setting Internet Explorer as the default did NOT resolve the issue
    3. Uninstalling Safari, Chrome (leaving IE & FF), did NOT resolve the issue
    4. Uninstalling and re-installing SharePoint Designer with IE as the default browser did NOT resolve the issue
    5. Changing ANY file that was defaulting to FireFox to use IE instead, DID FIX the issue

    Why is this important? Because it’s a pain in the neck and I didn’t want to uninstall FireFox and re-install and re-configure add-ons, plug-ins, bookmarks, etcetera! Hope this helps anyone else experiencing this wacky behavior.

  2. Happening to me with Chrome. Default browser for windows is set to IE, and yet every time I change a file Chrome launches to the approval site. Problem is, the drop down menu to approve doesn’t work in Chrome so I still have to open IE to approve. This is a combination Windows and Sharepoint Designer problem Feel free to cast aspersions. Sharepoint 2010 roundly sucks on many levels.


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