Welcome to your new SharePoint list - now don't rename the Title field!

How to create a new SharePoint list based on a List template (.stp)?

3 min read.

New Microsoft Lists are here. They are awesome, and a great move by Microsoft to reap even more value of the old war horse.

Wait – old war horse? Well, behind the scenes, they’re actually “just” normal SharePoint lists with a bit of added sparkles and gizmos – namely, an app, a few automations to make users’ lives easier, and an application page to display the lists.

Great move by Microsoft, launch quite well done, and a pretty good user experience so far. But it’s not all good.

Problem

Table of Contents

Microsoft Lists has some premade templates already – and these look fancy with all of the UI candy Microsoft has been able to implement so far!

SharePoint list creation in Microsoft Lists - it even has templates now!
SharePoint list creation in Microsoft Lists – it even has templates now!

Very nice.

But… What about your own templates? What about your lovingly hand-crafted .stp templates that you’ve been using since 2013, because they. just. work. ?

Nope. No way to activate them anymore!

Or so it would seem.

Solution

The 2 list creation experiences in SharePoint Online - Classic SharePoint lists and Microsoft Lists
The 2 list creation experiences in SharePoint Online – Classic SharePoint lists and Microsoft Lists

When you hit “+New” -> “List” (“New experience” in the picture above), you can kind of get what you wanted by selecting “From existing list” – but you’ll get the view shown below without the option to initiate the site with existing items.

How to create a new list in Microsoft Lists - you can even create a list based on an existing one!
How to create a new list in Microsoft Lists – you can even create a list based on an existing one!

And still – it’s not the .stp template you’re using. It’s a copy of an existing list with all of the additional configurations applied. No standardized .stp-file based “classic” process available.

What a bummer, right?

But as always – there’s a workaround. You can still use your good-old .stp templates, as long as you know your way around SharePoint :)

Solution

Time needed: 15 minutes.

How to create a new SharePoint list based on an .stp template in Modern SharePoint?

  1. (Prerequisite) Make sure you have your .stp template handy

    Okay – so let’s clear the basics first. You need to have exported the list as a template and uploaded it into the list templates catalog.

    In fact, this stuff I already covered in another post – here:
    How to enable saving a list as template on SharePoint Online?

    After that’s taken care of, see below!

  2. Scratch the “Lists” experience and go Classic

    Okay, so the new and shiny Microsoft Lists experience doesn’t support .stp list templates.

    Instead, opt for the Classic experience by clicking “+New” -> “App…” like shown below:
    The 2 list creation experiences in SharePoint Online - Classic SharePoint lists and Microsoft Lists

  3. You’ll see custom templates in the view

    You’ll know the custom templates not only from the naming, but also the “generic” icon for custom lists.

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  4. Create your custom list

    And here you go!

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-3.png

    After hitting “Create”, you’ll get your new list based on the template you selected – and if your template had contents included, you’ll even get them prepopulated.

    Neat!

And there you go!

mm
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