I am working with SharePoint online, I have gone through many threads to find out about how to configure office documents to open up in Client application than online but have not been able to got it to work.

First of all, I did activate the Open in Client site collection feature and then made sure that open in client is selected under advanced settings. Even after applying these two settings I still see documents opening up in the browser rather than client app. Also the site where library is located has both publishing and infrastructure features activated.

Can someone suggest how would I make users to open documents in client app by default when clicked? Thanks in advance.


3 Answers 3


May i know which browser you are trying, Normally when you change the "open in client application" under advance setting of library, that document should open in the client application. at least can you see the pop-up from the browser that document need to open in client application. if yes, then you need to check the browser add-ins. SharePoint OpenDocuments Class is much important to open the office documents from the sharepoint, normally this add-ins get installed once you installed office suits in your machine. if you can't see this add-ins, just try to repair your office suits.

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  • Thanks. It should be implemented and consistent across all browsers. The solution you provided above is IE Specific but it should work in theory across all browsers.
    – mdevm
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 15:39

Do you mean the documents in library or the results from search?

If you mean about search results, note that even you configure SharePoint to open documents in client applications by default, it will not change the default open behavior when someone searches for a document and attempts to open it from the search results.

If you mean about documents in library, does this issue happens on all libraries? Does all file types(Excel, Word, PDF...) have this issue or just one has this issue?

Also try to add your site into trusted site then have a test(or run in compatibility mode and have a test).


In SharePoint Online in Classic Team sites the "open in client application" feature does not work. It seems to be a bug that was there for several years and was not fixed.

Test results

  • Chrome + Classic site > Bug: documents open in the browser
  • IE + Classic site > Works: documents open in the application
  • Chrome + Modern site > Works: documents open in the application
  • IE+ Modern site > Works: documents open in the application

Workaround You can use Modern Sites. This feature works there properly no matter what browser you use.

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