In most cases it is recommended that report creators and editors use the new Report Designer when working with reports.  In newer releases of the ServiceNow product the original Report Builder User Interface has been disabled.  However, in some instances it may be convenient to still allow users access to the original Report Builder.  This article will describe how to disable or enable usage of the original Report Builder interface on an instance.


Log into the instance with an account having admin rights to the instance.

Once logged in, type sys_properties.list in the Filter Navigator.

A list of System Properties should appear in the right pane.

Search for the property with the name

If this property is not found, it will have an implicitly assumed value of true and will allow usage of the original Report Builder interface.  If you intend to continue allowing the use of that interface, no further steps are needed.  However, if the admin prefers to disable the original Report Builder and the property is not already found on the instance, this property will need to be created as follows:

Ensure you are currently in the global scope.

From the sys_properties records list, click the New button to create a new System Property.

A new System Properties record will appear.  Fill out the following fields on this form as indicated:


Description: Show the option to use the old report designer

Type: true | false

Value: false

Ignore cache: unchecked

Private: unchecked

New system property

After filling out the fields as indicated, click the Submit button to save the new property.


If however, this property is already found on the instance, but you want to change the value of the property, open the property as found in the search above from the list of System Properties.

Change the value field as appropriate.

A value of true indicates that the original Report Builder User Interface will be available for use by users of the system.

A value of false indicates that the original Report Builder User Interface will not be available for use by users of the system and they must use the new Report Designer when creating and editing reports.


Changing the value of the property

Click the Update button on the record to save the change to the system property.


If the property is set to false (indicating that the original report viewer is no longer available to users on the instance), creating a new report or editing an existing report will automatically open in the new Report Designer.  In addition, the link in the upper right side of the Report Designer (Switch to classic UI) will no longer appear.

If the property is set to true the old report Builder User Interface can be used by those with permissions to create and edit reports.  In opening an existing report for editing or creating a new report, the system will by default use the new report User Interface.  However, if the customer last used the original Report Builder for creating or editing a report, the system will use that one until the customer toggles to the other User Interface.

When the property is set to true, users can switch amongst the two interfaces using the link found in the upper right corner of the report creation interface.

In the newer Report Designer the link will be labeled Switch to Classic UI and clicking that link will reload the same report using the old Report Builder interface.

Report Designer User Interface


For individuals using the original Report Builder, if they prefer to switch to the Report Designer interface, they can click the link titled Switch to new UI.

Report Builder interface

Clicking that link will cause the report view to reload in the new Report Designer User Interface.

Before changing the view, ensure to save any previously unsaved changes you might have in the report.

Applicable Versions

Starting with the London release of ServiceNow, newly provisioned instances will have this property set to a value of false, which means. by default the instance will not have the links to use the Classic Ui.  Thus, to enable usage of the Classic UI this property will need to be adjusted to a value of false.

This new property was introduced in the London version of the product, and thus adding the property in prior versions will not disable access to the Classic UI.

Additional Information

Although most of the basic functionality can be accessed through both interfaces (Report Builder and the Report Designer), there are are also a number of differences amongst these two interfaces.  The most obvious difference is that the Report Designer uses a guided, multi-panel process in creating a report while the Report Builder features most of the report configuration all on one form.


Article Information

Last Updated:2019-08-02 20:59:09