I have a 3rd party application file (abcd.afoxls) that I'm storing in SharePoint 365 Online. I want to be able to open the file by clicking on it.

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When I click on abcd.afoxls, I get the following:

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Is there a way to configure SharePoint so that it launches the associated application instead of presenting this screen?

Is developing a SharePoint add-in a way?

BTW, I can configure SharePoint such that when opening documents it opens in the client application versus the web application (e.g. Excel app instead of Excel Web).

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2 Answers 2


Create a .NET application that will take the afoxls file as a input parameter.

When the application runs with the abcd.afoxls execute it using your .afoxls on premise program.

  • I tried this, and I file associated .afoxls to the .net application. but when I click on abcd.afoxls I get the a new page with the following and a download button: "Hmm.. looks like this file doesn't have a preview we can show you"
    – Mel
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 8:27
  • ofc it doesn't have preview, it's unrecognized format in Web (SharePoint), there is no such an Online Application (like Office Web Application) that read this file Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 9:14
  • 1
    I appended to the original question the screenshot showing the SharePoint is configured to open the document using the client application instead of the web browser application e.g. Excel app instead of Excel Web.
    – Mel
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 9:32

I'm not sure which program this file type is associated with but it's highly unlikely that SharePoint supports this protocol handler out-of-the-box (that is required for the browser to prompt the user to open the file using a specific desktop application).

For example, there is an outstanding feedback item on Microsoft's feedback portal for SharePoint to prompt users to open PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.

Open Adobe PDF in client application

It might be worth considering developing your own ListView Command Set (a button that appears in either the action bar or the context menu in a library). Your SPFx extension could then make use of a protocol handler to prompt the user to open the file in the associated desktop application.

Build your first ListView Command Set extension

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