How To Open A 2013 Site In Sharepoint Designer 2010

062613_2103_howtoopena21After your account is converted to the 2013 platform, you get an error when you try to open a site in SPD 2010. This is a problem for many users whose operating systems don’t support SPD 2013, or those who want to continue using the enhanced features of SPD 2010. I asked several times about this issue but only got a “not possible” response from MSFT support.

Huh. It turns out the only thing preventing you from using 2010 is an update that MSFT rather deceptively installs on your computer sometime after the conversion, under the guise of a “high priority update” which “provides the latest fixes….and stability and performance improvements”. ????? I wonder what those “latest fixes” are? They are of course not detailed anywhere. And the ONLY thing the update actually seems to do is block SPD 2010 accessing 2013 sites. Luckily, I came across a comment by Dave Kuehling in a Laura Rogers blog post that mentioned this and when I uninstalled the update, 365 sites once again opened in SPD 2010.

The Fix
So, take a look in control panel»add/remove programs»Sharepoint Designer for an update numbered: KB2553382. Remove it. Try opening your team site in SPD 2010 and it should work. Public sites are now https in 2013, so you’ll have to enter a “new” url to open them.
They snuck this update through again – this time disguised as a critical Office 2010 update. Now you also have to remove KB2687455 which is a bunch of updates bundled together. Since they don’t tell you what an update does, I confess I have no idea what else is being updated – but I don’t really care. Office worked fine before the update – and SPD 2010 doesn’t work after. So I’ll live without the update.
5/15/2014: Ooops – they did it again!
You know the routine – now you have to ALSO remove KB#2810069…..

Prevent Reinstallation
The update will reinstall if you use automatic updates, so for good measure, block it at the Windows Update site at
Do a custom scan for available updates. KB2553382 (and 2687455 and 2810069) should show up as a “high priority”.
Uncheck it and check “Don’t show this update again”.
That should kill it and allow you to freely use the product you want to use with no need to redo the uninstall – and no apparent ill effects.

So here’s what we know so far: MSFT went out of their way to block access to 2013 sites with SPD 2010 – not once, but twice.. There’s no technological reason why 2013 sites can’t be opened in SPD 2010 – they work fine together. They did it without notifying anyone by installing a “high priority update”. They played dumb when faced with user protests and questions. They just don’t seem to get it!
All of which leaves me wondering – why? And why do it in such an underhanded way? If people want to continue using SPD 2010, why not just let them? At the very least, if MSFT sees some risk in using SPD 2010, tell users what the risk is so they have the facts necessary to make an informed decision and the option of “undoing” the change if desired. The way this was done is another symptom of MSFT’s current efforts to “force” people to “upgrade” their software – a trend which frankly just reinforces negative perceptions about them in the marketplace.