Another Solution To “The list cannot be displayed in Datasheet view”

I have a fair amount of information in SharePoint 2010 (just as I did in MOSS 2007), and for speedy editing of a lot of the entries, there is no beating the datasheet view. For some time now I have been getting the following error when I tried to edit the list in datasheet view:

The list cannot be displayed in Datasheet view for one or more of the following reasons: A datasheet component compatible with Windows SharePoint Services is not installed, your browser does not support ActiveX controls, or support for ActiveX controls is disabled.

There are a lot of answers on the interwebz, none of which solved the problem for me in the past.

Recently, though, I found an answer accidentally. I was trying to import some data from an Excel spreadsheet into a SQL Server database using the Import Data task. It was throwing an error that I was able to track down to having Windows 7 64-bit. My Office 2010 is 64-bit, and the import data wizards were 64-bit, also. However, Access and Excel importers are 32-bit only, and unless you knew to select 32-bit wizards also during installation, you don’t have them on a 64-bit machine.

Finally I found a form post that pointed me to the Office 2007 Data Connectivity Components (formerly known as the Access Database Engine). Installing these solved my data import, but also fixed my datasheet view!

Now that I can load the datasheet view, this makes a lot more sense. The Access icon is clearly in the upper left corner, and the status bar says “For assistance with Access Web Datasheet, see Help.”

So, if you’re getting the same error in SharePoint, and you’re running the 64-bit version of Office, and nothing else has worked, try the Data Connectivity Components from