We have an Excel spreadsheet that uses the Data Validation feature. We are unable to edit this spreadsheet in the Excel Web App - it gives the following error:

We can't show these features in the browser:

• Data validation

But you can see all the content in this workbook by opening the file in Excel.

It does in fact open in OWA, but can't be edited.

The reason I am confused is that the documentation I have found online seems to suggest that this feature was added years ago: https://blogs.office.com/2013/06/26/weve-updated-excel-web-app-whats-new-as-of-june-2013-2/

We are on the October 2015 CU, so we should have this feature. Why can't I edit my spreadsheet in Office Web Apps?




2 Answers 2


This feature is available in sharepoint 2016, where MSFT introduced Office Onine Server (owa in 2013) as a separate farm entity.

In sharepoint 2016 excel service is deprecated as a service application and now part of OOS.

Read more here:http://www.astaticstate.com/2016/05/sharepoint-2016-excel-services.html?m=1

One more thing, MSFT releases all new updates to office 365 and then bundle them and release those on Prem either as a cu or pending them till next version. What you referring was available in 365 but now available in so 2016


Regarding the mentioned article at your question , I have read it before, and you are right, the data validation has been mentioned as resolved issue and works just as you’d expect !!! but he also mentions you can do in Excel Web App now in both SkyDrive and Office365 not on-prem. and I understand from your question , you have October 2015 CU so you are working at SharePoint 2013 Enterprise on-prem that not mentioned in this article !

He also mentions at one of his answers the update we released is for the 2013 version of the Web Apps – at least, as they are part of Office 365 :-). Everything that I’ve outlined above is working both in SkyDrive and Office 365 now. For the on-prem products, you should expect to see these updates in a coming release.

I also checked the improvements and fixes at October 13, 2015, a cumulative update for SharePoint Server 2013 (KB3085492) and I didn't found out any information about Excel services else the security update for Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013. it does not include fixes for data validation !

So to overcome this issue at on-prem you have two option:

  • Edit it at Excel desktop application.
  • Or Click Edit a copy to create a copy without this feature , Accept the new name that Excel suggests, or type a different one, and then click Save.

Note : If you type a name that matches the original name and select the Replace existing file check box, the original copy of the workbook is lost when you click Save. else the original copy is untouched.

For more details check Edit a workbook that contains features unsupported by Excel Web Access

  • This means I can't do co-authoring on a spreadsheet with Data Validation on prem. Damn
    – Nacht
    Sep 27, 2016 at 1:56

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