One of the issues I am facing working with Office 365 is I can't really get the Documents open in a windows/client app rather it open in browser online only. The users want to make sure that the documents should open in the Desktop app.

I activated the Open In client app by default feature under site collection features and also for advanced settings under library, i changed the setting to Open in client app by default as well.

Still when clicked on a document in library, it opens in the browser online version, does anyone has a solution for this? Thanks.

4 Answers 4


Although late but just confirming, in Google Chrome, the document (.docx) does open in client MS Word 2016 after activating the "Open in client app" feature in site collection features. For those who still have issues, try de-activating and activating again the site collection feature Open Documents in Client Applications by Default.


Did you do it on the site collection level?

Keep in mind that even with this setting turned on, shared documents via link will open in browser


If you want links you put in Word to open SharePoint-stored files in their native apps, you have to go to File\Options\Advanced\Link Handling and enable the option 'Open supported hyperlinks to office files in Office Desktop apps'.

Before I did that, I found that enabling the 'open in native app option' in the SharePoint settings worked ONLY when clicking links in SharePoint; enabling this option allows me to embed links in documents and make those also open natively. Hope that helps!


The other answers didn't match up with what I see, this setting must have changed a few times the past few years. For me the answer (in December 2023) was:

  1. Gear icon in top right
  2. Library settings
  3. More library settings
  4. Advanced Settings
  5. Default open behavior for browser-enabled documents
  6. Open in client application
  7. OK

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