I am encountering below error msg whenever I try to open excel file (.xls, .xlsx) in SharePoint Foundation 2010 portal. Other Office files such as word, ppt opens correctly without any error but somehow any excel file in the portal does not open and the below error msg pop-up. I browsed over the web and came across many solution but almost all of them where published for SharePoint Enterprise 2010, speaking of Excel Services. Whereas there is no Excel Service in SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Pleas note that I am opening excel files in Excel Web App.

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Thanks in advance.

  • Can you check the ULS logs when you try to open the Excel file? Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


I also ran into this problem, what I did - just actiavte the feature 'Open Documents in Client Applications by Default'. To activate the feature Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Under the group Site Collection Administration click on 'Site Collection features' find 'Open Documents in Client Applications by Default' there and activate it.

In case the above solution do not work for you, you may try these - microsoft support, blog1, blog2

  • Hi Diptarag, I want to open these excel files in Office Web App then why should I enable the Open Documents in Client Application by Default? Well let me go through the other URLs that you have provided.
    – Zakir HC
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 13:30
  • Yeah that's why I provided other links :) I preferred posting the tested solution (which I tested myself) first
    – Diptarag
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 13:45
  • Hi Diptarang, You tried hard to push me to the solution but these solutions are not the one that I need. I want to open my excel files in browser only and none of the blog reference provided by you speaks of that thing. Secondly I do not have an Excel Service in my SharePoint Farm because I have a SharePoint Foundation edition. Any one else would try to post a solution?
    – Zakir HC
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 5:52
  • The first two links on this answer are dead now. It might be best to include a summary of the solutions provided therein so that if your links go down the answer is still valid. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 19:56

Having the same problem, I found this question. Diptarag's solution did not work for me: my site collection feature was already enabled - I tried disabling it and enabling it to no avail. So I checked out the links he posted, and tried editing the xml redirection file. Also to no avail.

In the ULS log reports, you might see the "critical" error for Excel Services Application with the report:

Unable to reach Excel Calculation Services... Server Unavailable....

Another symptom is that the application pool constantly fails for Excel Services.

Would you believe that MS actually recommends you to "restart the server" as the solution? Here is a Server Fault thread for the sake of testimony.

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