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I am working on a SharePoint 2013 enterprise server, and I have the following:-

  1. Team site collection , with the “Open Documents in Client Applications by Default” site feature activated, as follow:- enter image description here

  2. I do NOT have Office Web Apps configured.

Now I have many document libraries inside my sites, but I am not sure what are the differences between these 2 options inside the document library’s “Default open behavior for browser-enabled documents:” option.:-

  • "Open in the client application"
  • "Use the server default (Open in the client application)"

enter image description here

Second question. the second option says “Use the server default (Open in the client application)”,, so where is this default set ? and can I change the default settings on the server, or it will always be (Open in the client application) ?

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  • Open in the client application When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open in the corresponding client application if it's available.
  • Open in the browser When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open in the web browser in the web app for that document type. When the document is opened in the web app, the user can then decide to open the document in the client application.
  • Use the server default When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open by using the default open behavior specified for the server running SharePoint 2013.

Server Default is only applicable if you have the Office web apps installed. But as you mentioned, you dont have OWA then you can select from 1st or 2nd.

Check this Also this one

  • i do not think this is 100% correct, as i have tested this further, and i have noted that when i enable the "Open Documents in Client Applications by Default” Site Collection feature, then i will get this as the 3rd option "Use the server default (Open in the client application)", but if i disable the site collection feature then i will get this as the 3rd option "Use the server default (Open in the browser)".. – john Gu Jan 10 '17 at 2:26
  • so seems there is a link between enabling the site collection feature and whether the 3rd option will be "Use the server default (Open in the client application)" OR will be "Use the server default (Open in the browser)" ,, so if i chose the 3rd option , then i can control the document library behavioure from the site collection level – john Gu Jan 10 '17 at 2:27
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    that is correct, that is what it mean...2nd link explain that....If you enable that feature then you can overwrite the Servers Default and control it by you either open in Client or Broser – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jan 10 '17 at 2:28
  • so this option "Use the server default" is mainly saying that the server default will be "open in client application" if the site collection feature is enabled,, while the server defualt will be "open in browser" if the site collection feature is disabled?? second question will this always be the case even if the "Office web apps" is installed?? third question, in your original reply you mentioned "Server Default is only applicable if you have the Office web apps installed." but in my case i do not have office app and this is having effect,, is this correct ? – john Gu Jan 10 '17 at 9:50

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