How to Disable Minimal Download Strategy (MDS) in SharePoint 2013?

SharePoint 2013 introduced a new concept called the Minimal download strategy to minimize the amount of data downloaded from your SharePoint site to clients and make it load faster. For example, when we navigate from a site’s home page to the Shared Documents page, MDS downloads only the content that has changed between the source and destination pages. The feature is scoped at the site level (SPWeb) and activated by default in certain site templates such as team sites, community sites, blogs, projects, wiki, etc. (not available with publishing sites).

When MDS is activated, you will find in the page URL /_layouts/15/start.aspx followed by a hash(#) and then the relative URL of the site you requested.

Deactivating this feature will no longer redirect all of the URLs to include the /_layouts/15/start.aspx# path in your address, keeping everything nice and tidy. E.g.,

Why Should We Disable Minimal Download Strategy Feature?

Of course, MDS has both pros and cons. In my experience, we had to disable MDS on the below scenarios:

  • When we deployed a custom JavaScript file in our SharePoint site, MDS caused errors in page rendering!
  •  OWSSRV.dll 65000 – Cannot complete this action Error: We experienced this error when the page is trying to make a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) to owssvr.dll during Deleting a List, Modifying List View, etc.
  • When we used TMG as our secure proxy server, we found that the MDS feature consistently caused errors while loading pages.
  • “Connect to Outlook” is greyed out and you’re unable to connect a document library to Outlook.
  • Random access denied, 401 Unauthorized Errors.

We found disabling the MDS feature resolved all of the above errors!

How to deactivate minimal download strategy in SharePoint 2013?

So, You have decided to disable the minimal download strategy feature! Follow these steps to turn off the minimal download strategy.

  • Browse to the Site Settings page of your SharePoint 2013 site.
  • Click on Manage site features under Site Actions
  • Locate and click on Deactivate button next to the “Minimal Download Strategy” feature
    minimal download strategy in sharepoint 2013 disable
  • Confirm disable minimal download strategy by clicking on the “Deactivate this feature” link.
    minimal download strategy in sharepoint 2013 disable
  • You have to deactivate in all sites in your site collection/web application to disable MDS in SharePoint 2013 completely. Repeat these steps, click on the “Activate” button instead of deactivate if you want to enable it back!

This removes “_layouts/15/start.aspx#” in SharePoint URL address bar!

Drawback: Enabling or disabling MDS features should be performed on a site-by-site basis. So, let’s seek help from PowerShell to avoid this time-consuming task.

Disable MDS in SharePoint 2013 using PowerShell

To disable Minimal Download Strategy for a given web, use this PowerShell script:

#SharePoint site URL
$WebURL ="" 

#To dectivate MDS feature 
Disable-SPFeature -identity "MDSFeature" -URL $WebURL -confirm:$false

#To Enable MDS feature 
#Enable-SPFeature -identity "MDSFeature" -URL $WebURL -confirm:$false

Internally, when disabled or enabled, it sets the EnableMinimalDownload property of the SPWeb object.

SharePoint 2013 minimal download strategy – Disable for an entire web application:

At times, you may need to enable/disable the MDS feature on all sites in your web application. We have got a web application with 500+ site collections and multiple sites. Not wise to choose SharePoint web UI way, but you can achieve this smartly by using the below PowerShell script:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

#SharePoint web App URL
$WebAppURL ="" 
$FeatureName ="MDSFeature"

#disable the MDS for all web applications
$WebsCollection = Get-SPWebApplication $WebAppURL | Get-SPSite -Limit All | Get-SPWeb -Limit All

foreach($web in $WebsCollection)
    #Check if the feature is activated 
    $MDSFeature = Get-SPFeature -web $Web.Url  | Where-object {$_.DisplayName -eq $FeatureName}
    if($MDSFeature -ne $null)
        Disable-SPFeature -identity $FeatureName -URL $web.URL -confirm:$false
        write-host "Minimal Download Strategy Feature has been disabled at: "$web.Url

Disable the “Minimal Download Strategy” feature at the farm level:

You can deactivate the “Minimal Download Strategy” feature at the farm level so that it is disabled by default on any new site collections and sites which are created.

# Uninstall Feature
Uninstall-SPFeature MDSFeature -Force -Confirm:$false

# To Re-Install Feature to enable it
# Install-SPFeature MDSFeature

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

3 thoughts on “How to Disable Minimal Download Strategy (MDS) in SharePoint 2013?

  • Thank you so much. Disabling MDS at the individual site level solved my problem and saved me a lot of headache! It was disabled at the main site level but not the individual sites, and the only way I found out was by your PowerShell script.

  • Hello Salaudeen,

    Thanks for sharing this info, really great article. Saved my time.

    With Regards,

  • Dear Salaudeen;

    Thanks for this great article, It help me a lot!
    Keep it up!



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