Is Classic Getting Discontinued in October? 6 Key Questions on the Lightning Switch

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You’ve received an email from Salesforce about the switch from Classic to Lightning and perhaps the following questions came up in your mind:

  1. Does this affect me? (which edition am I using anyway!)
  2. What are the benefits of Lightning Experience anyway?
  3. Is now the time to be moving to Lightning?
  4. Can I stay on Classic?
  5. Ok, so what do I need to do? I want to keep ahead of the competition. How do I prepare for the Change?

From October 2019, Salesforce will “turn on” Lightning for all orgs – we’ll examine what this means and what the impact will be.

Does this affect me? Am I even using Lightning?

Salesforce are very Lightning-happy and starting in 2015 branded many things “Lightning”, so we have Lightning Experience, Lightning Flow and Field Service Lightning amongst many other things.

Here we are only talking about “Lightning Experience”, the screen that you may see and use when you log into Salesforce. The alternative is “Classic”, which now looks rather dated. You can see screenshots of both below, to help you identify which one you are using.

The bonus with Lightning Experience is that it enables you to use various features that the Classic screen layout cannot support. We’ll go into more details shortly….

KEY HIGHLIGHT: If you and all your users are on Lightning, you’re good to go and can skip the rest of this blog!

What is Lightning Experience anyway?

Lightning Experience is the modern, improved user interface. It offers a more agile way of working. Focusing on end-user benefits (although there are many for admins), they will have easier to use screens, dynamic sections which will only appear as and when required, visual prompts such as Path and Kanban, and – of course – it is mobile and tablet friendly. With every 4-monthly automatic release there additional benefits, so with Summer 19 you get improved control over how related records are displayed.

The benefit for Salesforce (rather than us) is that it is easier for them to development as it’s completely different under the hood. They bring new functionality to Lightning Experience, which will never come to Classic. This is why they are focusing on getting us to move over.

Is now the time to be moving to Lightning?

For most organisations, the answer is “Yes”. Initially Lightning was a bit slow, but this was many years ago. It is now much faster. Similarly, when Lightning first launched, some core features were missing, but these are now relatively few are far between. Speaking to new users and administrators, they can’t understand why people would prefer Classic.

Salesforce has provided some tools to help you to move. See “What actions needed to switch to Lightning?” for more details, as well as some tips.

Can I stay on Classic?

Classic still remains, although no promises can be made about whether this will always be the case.

What is going to happen is that everyone using a “Standard User Profile” will be moved over. Typically those on Standard User Profile have the least customized Salesforce and will have little impact, but if you’re not quite ready to change this is what you need to do:

PART A: Check which Profiles are affected

    1. You need to go into your Setup menu, and then go to Manage Users > Users
    2. Click on the “Profiles” column and then you can easily see which profiles are in use.
    3. Then go to Manage Users > Profiles
    4. You will notice a list of existing profiles in your org; you can easily distinguish between Standard and Custom profile by viewing the ‘Custom’ column (see screenshot below). If the profiles you use are unticked it means they are Standard profiles and will be affected by Salesforce’s enforced move to Lightning Experience.

…if none of the profiles that you actually use are Standard (i.e. they’re all ticked/custom) then you don’t need to take any action. Bear in mind that at least one account must be “System Administrator”, and that will be moved to Lightning Experience regardless of any actions you take.

PART B: Creating the workaround

  1. Clone the Standard profiles which you are using; just click on the “Clone” link to the left of the profile name, and give the profile a new name.
  2. Go into the profile and then into System Permission. Make sure that “Lightning Experience User” permission is unchecked and save the record.
  3. Go back to Users and assign your users to the new profile(s) you just created.

Ok, so what do I need to do? I want to keep ahead of the competition. How do I prepare for the change?

So you’ve decided to switch to Lightning. Great stuff, but some planning is in order, and Salesforce invested significantly in tools that will help you, without impacting on day to day usability..

If you go to Setup, you’ll see in the top left hand corner the “Lightning Experience Transition Assistant” (see screenshot, below).

Click “Get Started” and follow the prompts. You’ll particularly want to run “Check your Lightning Experience readiness” which can be found within Discover Phase: Evaluate Lightning Experience Benefits and Readiness. Click “Check Readiness” and you’ll then be emailed an impact analysis to let you know what considerations you should have for full deployment.

There are two likely outcomes: you’ll be sent a list of items that you have to double check or prepare to ensure that everything is Lightning compliant, or maybe there will be no issues. Either way you then have to create a transition timetable for Lightning, including testing (in a sandbox at first!) and end-user training.

Mainly, we don’t recommend waiting for Salesforce to move you over, do it at a time, place and pace of your own choosing. Follow the Get Started guide, as Salesforce has put considerable efforts into this, based on best practice and feedback from other organizations that have made the move.

If this all seems too much, I’ll put on my Consultant hat and suggest consider leveraging a Consulting Partner, who will be able to help you through this entire process and use their experience to unlock further benefits. They’re skilled in these one-off projects which you may not need to do on a daily basis.

Useful links


12 thoughts on “Is Classic Getting Discontinued in October? 6 Key Questions on the Lightning Switch

  1. Avatar

    Part of our users who were offered to switch to Lightning eventually came back to Classic for ergonomy reasons (“quicker”, “less clicks” “more user friendly interface”, “no additional functionnality in LE”, “we are used to Classic”, …).
    Others just couldn’t test LE because Page layouts were not able to migrate and did not open in LE. (SF support is working on this issue).
    Is Lighting really ready ?
    So wait and see.

    1. Avatar

      I agree. My company had to move back to Classic for a particular project and it was like a breath of fresh air. The whole UI is faster and much quicker to do things in, plus you can actually see everything on the page too, unlike Lightning with all its truncated labels and tabs which hide things everywhere. Classic doesn’t even look so old fashioned anymore too when you haven’t seen it for a few months! I am all for change when it’s useful and beneficial, but so far I don’t see either of these traits in Lightning yet.

    1. Ben McCarthy

      HI Bob,

      Thanks for your comments. I would be interested to know how you think this post is biased? I’ll be the first to admit that Lightning isn’t perfect, but I think it is superior to Classic in many ways. At EMPAUA we’ve deployed Lightning to 100’s of clients orgs as well as migrated lots of classic users. In my experience, the benefits always out weight any negatives that crop up (Which is in the minority of cases).



  2. Avatar

    I agree with Martin, Charles, and Bob. We switched a portion of our users who were very excited about it. Less than a week later they were no longer excited. We have had reports that used to load now not and the rest load way slower, among other things. It looks pretty, but I just don’t know that it is really ready yet. I get that it is designed to run on the client side instead of the server side to “run faster”, but I haven’t seen that working in practice yet.

  3. Avatar

    Lightning still has a lot of work to be done, Salesforce. In some posts already brought up, like the need to click more to accomplish the same. The biggest problem however is the accessibility for visual impaired colleagues. It already starts with the Editbox, a popup. Popups are killing for accessibility. Also the datematrix is terrible. It even covers fields regularly.

  4. Avatar

    Crystal Karanovich


    “Bear in mind that at least one account must be “System Administrator”, and that will be moved to Lightning Experience regardless of any actions you take.”

    Are you saying even if we clone that profile and switch off the LEX User setting, admins will be stuck in Lightning? This would be the first I have seen of that if so….

    1. Avatar

      Agree! It’s a confusing statement.
      But based on his workaround suggested it shouldn’t be moved over to LEX when you clone the standard System Administator profile.
      Let’s wait for the actual documentation from Salesforce because everyone in the one in the web can be an expert.

  5. Avatar

    Crystal – you can give even the Sys Admin a custom profile. However, this admin can’t switch his/her own profile from the standard one to the custom one. But another with admin rights can. If you only have one admin, just temporarily give another user admin rights, make the switch and then remove the new permission. Voila!

  6. Avatar

    Lightning is a half baked product and Salesforce just wants to keep saying it’s the best under “Safe Harbor”. Please Ben users such as you and other MVP’s should be saying the actual stuff on how sad Lightning is instead of parroting what Salesforce says. Simple examples – Manage Campaign Members is unavailable in Lightning! FFS the product is named Salesforce and it misses out on basics in Lightning.
    Things such as these are not far and few, they are everywhere. It would be much better if Salesforce actually takes an year to fix all shortcomings instead of releasing half baked release for the sake of it.

    As always appreciate your succinctly write up of the information. Cheers mate!

    1. Ben McCarthy

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your comments. In all honesty, while I know that Lightning isn’t 100% perfect product, I feel the downsides FAR outweigh a few of these features that aren’t available. I started working at my consultancy back in 2016 when Lightning was pretty poor, and this was a struggle to implement for our clients. But now I proactively advocate it, and although it may sound like I’ve drunk the kool-aid, this is what I believe!

      Thanks, Ben

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