We use SharePoint 2013 and Chrome (HP SureClick) as our default browser - IE/Edge are available as a fallback.

Our document library is set to open files in the Client Application which works fine in IE when clicking e.g. an Excel document. In Chrome this is being ignored (as answered in other questions here due to missing NPAPI support) and it opens all files in the browser. Since we use Office Web Apps and a lot of our XLS documents have macros this ulimately fails.

However, when going to the Version History dialog of a file, clicking the latest version directly opens the file in the Client Application! No new browser tab, no Download message box...the client application directly opens up with the file.

So it seems Chrome can open files directly in the client application - is there a way to force this behavior within the 'normal' document library?


1 Answer 1


This is due to how the links act in version history vs. the document library -- version history is sent through a different API that doesn't have the same 'hook' back into the SharePoint site.

The experience you're looking for relies on IE ActiveX controls to function properly. This is resolved if you move to a modern version of SharePoint (SharePoint Server 2019 with the Modern experience or SharePoint Online with the Modern experience).

Recommendation is to use the Chrome Legacy Browser Support to redirect users to IE when using classic experience for on-prem SharePoint.

  • 1
    Thanks for the detailed and FAST answer. We will look into this. +1
    – AM2FTW
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 13:30

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