I have a Team site collection, which contain the defualt document library. Now I am facing this problem:

  1. I upload some .docx files.

  2. I upload some .xlsx files.

Now when I click on the .docx file the file will open inside my Office Word client application, while when I click on the .xlsx file it will open inside the Web browser. So can I prevent the Excel sheets from being opened inside the Web browser? So, in other words: how to always force the documents to open inside the clients application rather than inside the Web browser?

Here is the settings for my document library:

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Here is the setting for my site collection features (where the "Open Documents in Client Applications by Default" is disabled)

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So: how do i need to approach this to always open any file inside the client application rather than inside the browser?

1 Answer 1


Simply activate the feature "Open Documents in Client Application by Default".
The behavior you see before you activate it seems logical:

  1. You probably don't have Office Web Apps installed/configured in your farm.
  2. But there's the Excel Services (Application Service) enabled in your farm.
  3. --> Word documents must open in the client application, even if the feature "Open in client..." is not activated, since there's no other option.
  4. --> For Excel documents, there's 2 alternatives for SharePoint: opening in the client application or online, by the mean of Excel Services. As the feature is not activated, it chooses to open in the browser.

If you activate the feature, in all cases, the documents (Word and Excel) will open in the client applications.

  • thanks a lot for the reply.. but before activating this ,, is there any side effect of activating this feature? or i can activate it now ,, and in the future if we decide to benefit from modifying excel sheets inside the web browser,, then i can deactivate it again ?
    – John John
    Jan 6, 2017 at 12:32
  • 1
    You can safely activate it. There won't be any other side-effect than the one you actually want. And you can change your mind later and deactivate it back.
    – Evariste
    Jan 6, 2017 at 12:35
  • Note this doesn't seem to be the case for browsers other than IE - in Firefox and Chrome, Office files (for my environment, at least) open in the browser regardless of whether you have the Site Collection Feature activated or the Library setting set to open locally (or both). Rather frustrating...
    – TylerH
    Mar 11, 2019 at 19:26

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