Turning off Social features in SharePoint 2010

If for whatever reason you want to prevent your users from using the social features in SharePoint 2010, here is how to do it.

Deactivate Farm level feature

Firstly, in Central Admin, you need to deactivate the Farm level feature called ‘Social Tags and Note Board Ribbon Controls’, as referred to on Technet.

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Note that as this is a farm level feature, its turning this off globally – you don’t have the option of doing this at a web app level, for example.

Having deactivated that feature, you should find that the ‘I Like It’ and ‘Tags & Notes’ controls, normally found on the top right of pages, like this…

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…have now been removed:

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At this point, the user will still see the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab in their profiles, like this:

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Removing ‘Tags and Notes’ tab from MySites

There doesn’t appear to be a clean way of removing this, other than removing the user permission for ‘Use Social Features’ in the User Profile Service Application, as follows.

[Update 28/7/2011] Based on feedback from a couple of people, here is how to remove the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab:

Browse to the MySite Host – in my case, the URL is http://mysite/_layouts/settings.aspx

(You can check you are in the right place by looking for the ‘My Site Host’) –

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In the ‘Look and Feel’ section, click ‘Quick launch’

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Click the Edit button next to the ‘Tags and Notes’ item

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Click ‘Delete’

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Click ‘OK’

You will now find that the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab has been removed for all users:

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Removing ‘Use Social Features’ permission

As a final step (and this is not strictly necessary if you have followed the above steps, but for completeness…)

In Central Admin, click ‘Manage service applications’, click your User Profile Service Application, and then in the People section, click ‘Manage User Permissions’:

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The permission to untick is ‘Use Social Features’ – note that for a default install you will need to untick it twice – once for Authenticated Users and then again for All Authenticated Users – then click OK.

Users will then see a 403 – Forbidden type error if they browsed to the Tags and Notes URL /_layouts/thoughts.aspx (which they would have to, seeing as the link has been removed)

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6 Responses to Turning off Social features in SharePoint 2010

  1. Good post John. One thing I’ll mention. I thought you could remove the tabs on mysites just by taking them off of a special list that controls those tabs. I forget where the list is, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

    • ee61re says:

      Thanks Doug – I’ll look into removing the tabs as you suggest.

      Rob

      • Great I didn’t know that with the feature…

        By the way I found the settings Doug mentioned: If you go to the MySite Host and click Site Actions > Site Settings > Look and Feel > Quick Launch there you can remove the tabs.
        This was new to me too but good to know since some customers want that removed.

      • ee61re says:

        Andreas – many thanks for the details – I will update the blog entry accordingly!

  2. I hate for you to encourage such nonsense, but alas there are still some antisocial companies out there.

    • ee61re says:

      Mark – I am merely providing the technical detail. The business drivers for wanting to go down this route may be varied – one possible reason may be to drip-feed new social features into a company, or to restrict their usage to a pilot group of users, for example.

      Rob

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