Asynchronous Update – Web Part Setting

In SharePoint 2010, we can now set up asynchronous updates on lists, libraries and other data views.  Basically, this means that instead of users having to refresh the browser to see any changes to data on the screen, asynchronous updates can be used to either display a refresh button right on the list, or set it up to refresh automatically at an interval.

There are a couple of different ways to set up asynchronous updates:

  1. From within the browser
  2. From within SharePoint Designer 2010

From Within the Browser

It’s all about the web part properties.  Go to the web part properties of a list view web part, and expand the AJAX Options section.


See in this screenshot that you can enable the asynchronous update.  If you’d like end users to be able to click a button to refresh the data, choose “Show Manual Refresh Button”.  There is also an option to automatically refresh the data in the web part at a certain interval.  This means that if a user navigates to the web page and leaves it up in the browser all day, they will continue to see live data without  having to use F5 to refresh the site.

When “Show manual refresh button” or “enable asynchronous automatic refresh” options are checked, the first option to “Enable asynchronous update” will automatically be selected when the web part properties are saved.

Enable Asynchronous Load can be selected independently of the Asynchronous update.  With this option, data is requested from the server and loaded in the background without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page.  The resulting behavior?  When navigating to the page in SharePoint, everything else on the page will load, but it won’t wait for this web part.  There will be a second or two (depending on network speeds and the amount of data) that you will see this GIF that indicates that the data is loading.


Since these are all web part properties, they can be set on any of your list view web parts, and remember that ALL regular views of lists are also web part pages.  Here’s how to change the web part settings on a list view… it’s not going to be in the “Modify View” settings.

  1. Navigate to your list or library’s default view by clicking the name of it in the quick launch (such as AllItems.aspx).
  2. At the top left, choose <Site Actions> and choose <Edit Page>.
  3. At the top right of the web part, in this case “Shared Documents”, click the drop-down and choose Edit Web Part.
  4. Then that’s where you then expand the AJAX Options section as shown above.
    Default Library View

From Within SharePoint Designer 2010

Asynchronous update can also be configured on any data view web part from within SharePoint Designer.  When you open your list view or data view page and click to put your cursor anywhere inside the data view part of the page, the contextual ribbon will then display 4 tabs in a “List View Tools” section.  On the Options tab, there’s a section with all of the settings you’ll need.  Check the box next to “Asynchronous Update” in order to make the other two options enabled.


Note that each time you set up asynchronous update on web parts, there will be hits to the server each time the refresh is done.  Just something to consider in planning… don’t go crazy with this feature.



    Laura, you mention the consideration of using asynch refresh/update is to consider the poor server – is there “throttling” control on the server side to prevent it being swamped by these requests? Cheers Tony @WorTony

  • Re:

    There are types of throttling that I know about in SharePoint 2010. The first is the HTTP throttling. I would assume these refreshes would be included in that. If the server gets swamped (it measure CPU usage, disk I/O queue, stuff like that) it’ll start giving new requests 503s to save resources for continuing requests. That way forms that are being filled out won’t be dropped, but potentially new requests will be. This is an on or off setting. It’s set per web app in Central Administration. The other type of throttling is with Office clients. Office clients use a protocol called “Cobalt” to do the simultaneous editing feature. To do that the client must poll the server continously. The Office client gets a performance number from the server during each request (you can see it with Fiddler) and dials itself down if the server starts to get swamped. I have no idea if this feature utilizes this or not. Not sure if this helped or not. 🙂 tk

  • Is there any way to achive this type of Asyncronous Load behaviour for a custom web part? I want my sharepoint page to load the web parts independently of each other so that the page is displayed without waiting for all the web parts to load completely.

  • I’m having a weird issue when checking “Enable Asynchronous Load”. Basically, when I do this in DataFormWebPart’s, they keep showing the green “wait” above. I digged into and found that other web parts may be affecting this (I removed them, issue doesn’t repro). Any idea what could be happening? Thanks in advance.

  • DK, No, I don’t know how to do that. Ariel, Sorry, I’ve never seen that happen.

  • We had an upgrade from 2007 to 2010 version of SharePoint and I see lists which had grouping views in 2007 aren’t showing up items when you click “+” icon. Not sure why? I fixed in two ways – 1) Re-creating the same view in 2010. 2)Turning on the Async Update option for the list web part. How can I conclude the cause with my fix applied. Please share any observations you have. Sorry, if I am posting in wrong area. Thanks in advance!

  • Shashank, Wow, I just saw that happen the other day, except that the site was new 2010, not upgraded, and the async update wasn’t involved. My solution was to set grouping to auto-expand, then it worked fine. Very weird bug!

  • hi, when this options is activated, and you want to use filters in the first row the filter-content is hidden. And you are not able to see the list entries from this filter. Do you have any ideas? Greetings Tim

  • Laura, thank you for this excellent article! I added the manual refresh button to a series of list web parts on a page. All of the web parts also have the Enable Asynchronous Update and Enable Asynchronous Automatic Refresh options selected. Unfortunately, the button does not work. Is there a site feature or Farm setting that needs to be activated for these Ajax options to work?

  • Any idea why the functionality of the Asynchronous update not working on some pages with webparts ? I have two pages it works fine in one and not updating the other page with webparts

    • Hey Bruck
      I have this issue in Sharepoint online. Suddently my list won’t update async.
      Did you find any solution and can you remember what you did?

  • Tim,
    Sorry, no I’ve never seen this happen.

    Karen and Bruck,
    I’d try putting it on a web part page versus a wiki page, and see if that makes a difference. Go to your site pages library, and in the File tab in the ribbon, click the new document drop-down and choose web part page.

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