So we have a SharePoint Online document library set to open documents in the client applications

When opening the document using Chrome, a copy of the file is downloaded, saved to a local directory and opened using the Client Application. Users are only able to make changes and save the changes to the local copy. All is good with the world.

When opening the document using IE, it is opened using the Client Application but this seems to be connected to the online copy. enter image description here

Clicking on "Edit Workbook", we get the connecting to the server error above.

My understanding is that IE is downloading a temporary copy of the file which inherits the permission from the SPO document library. Most users don't have write access to the library.

The easiest workaround is to just manually save a local copy of the file, ie: File > Save As >...

Question: Is there a setting I can change to force IE to download a copy of the file instead of opening a temporary copy?

It's been suggested I use:

http://company.sharepoint.com/sitename/_layouts/download.aspx?SourceUrl=<document url>

but we have 1000s files.

  • Having same issue, how did you fix it? Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 4:42
  • @RishiJagati, we didn't fix it. We told users to download the file manually and then edit the file from their desktop.
    – hto
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 5:55
  • ok, make sense. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Try checking in the Document Library Settings>Advanced Settings>Opening Documents in the browser. Does changing the Opening Documents in the Browser help?

Could browser settings be the issue otherwise? Try to compare IE with Chrome.

  • Thanks for the suggestion but it didn't help. I also compared the settings between IE and Chrome and there doesn't seem to be a setting in IE that suggest that there is an option to that'll let me change this.
    – hto
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 5:29

You can try this. Internet explorer settings > Compatibility view settings > add this site. It helped us to bypass the IE’s default behaviour in opening and downloading of PDFs. You can try.

  • This is no longer an issue for us but your solution would definitely have solved the problem. However, does compatibility mode affect other functions in SPO?
    – hto
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 1:25

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