I have on-premise installations of SharePoint 2016 and Office Online.

When my colleague and edit the same document at the same time in Word Online, the changes automatically show up within seconds in the other's documents, but there are no flags to indicate the other person's cursor. (See 3rd screenshot here for an example: https://blogs.office.com/2015/10/30/word-real-time-co-authoring-a-closer-look/)

I see others have had this issue, but their issue was not resolved online. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_other/word-online-co-authoring-flags-not-showing/dad2c62e-cbb3-4797-aefc-a943c3d7d97c

To confirm:

  • We are both using Word Online.
  • It happens to all documents where we've tested so far.
  • Both users can edit the document.
  • The documents are stored in SharePoint 2016.

Can you provide some troubleshooting steps?

For example, firewall rules we might have to look into.

4 Answers 4


It has been my experience that Sharepoint 2016 on premises does not support realtime coauthoring like Office 365 in the cloud does. (cursor position flags like Google Docs)

This is a shame- I'm told that MS deliberately lags the feature introduction into the Sharepoint product to try to coax users into the cloud, but there's suspiciously little documentation on this feature or topic in general from MS. It's very frustrating to those of us with constraints to stay on premises only not to have this capability.

Would love to hear when this feature is scheduled to arrive in SharePoint On Premises or if I'm just doing something wrong.

  • This is the correct answer.
    – user6024
    Aug 26, 2017 at 15:32

It is supported with SharePoint 2016 with Office online. Couple of things to check.

  • both user have agreed to automatically share changes,enter image description here
  • Fiel should be store on SharePoint or One drive
  • Both users have correct permission to edit it.

Check this blog : Document collaboration and co-authoring

Also check this: Troubleshoot co-authoring in Office

  • Thanks. I've edited my question to reflect your points about where the file is located and permissions. About your first point... I have to assume both users have agreed to automatically share changes since the edited words do show up in the other's window, right...?
    – chabzjo
    Nov 10, 2016 at 22:26
  • do you have Skype installed on prem?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Nov 10, 2016 at 22:34
  • No, we don't have Skype. Is it a dependency?
    – chabzjo
    Nov 10, 2016 at 22:54
  • That is what I am thinking
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Nov 10, 2016 at 23:00

I have read the article and could not find any hint that this feature is also available in Office Online. This seems only to work with the Desktop Application of Word 2016.

  • Yes. It definitely is available in Office Online. We've been using it in Office 365 successfully. We just can't get the flags to show up in the on-premise version.
    – chabzjo
    Nov 10, 2016 at 22:29

This solution could help you. I had the same problem with SharePoint 2016 On Premise and Office Online Server 2016 and now it is working.

On-prem Office Online Server don't show users markers when users co-working with documents


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