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How to turn off Excel opening documents in the browser with SharePoint Enterprise

February 2, 2011

Got SharePoint Enterprise and as such, Excel Services installed? Well, just like the Office Web Apps, Excel may be trying to open XLS/XLSX files in the browser. You can either turn off the default behavior to open in the browser in each Document Library but if there are a number of them or the client doesn’t want this at all, you can turn off the browser based default by doing the following:


  1. Go to the Site Collection Settings Page
  2. Activate the feature Open Documents in Client Applications by Default”



8 Responses

  1. Webasua says:

    This didn’t work for me.  Still tries to open files in the web browser.

  2. Larry W Virden says:

    I have an issue where .xlsx documents are opening within the web page, even though the doc library itself is set to use external applications. I went to the settings as defined above, but there was no feature available for Open Documents in Client Applications by Default.

    Where does that come from?

    • Marek Hlavac says:

      I know this is a little bit late, but in case someone comes across…check if you have permissions for Client integration, and a 32-bit IE.

  3. Andrew Brooks says:

    I think this is down to individual browser settings, as I have the same thing. Can open Word docs in Word, but Excel files want to open in the browser…the rest of my users can open in Excel!

  4. Steve Harcharran says:

    I had the same issue, Came to find out that the end user was using IE 8 with 64-bit. Switched to IE 8 with 32-bit. Now the user was able to open Excel document from Sharepoint 2010 in Excel instead of IE. Success

  5. Craig Johnson says:

    I think Andrew is right on the mark.
    Had a user today who was getting this same problem even though Collection Setting was correct.
    Once I got them to try IE (instead of Chrome) it worked fine – so it might be a browser thing.

  6. tom says:

    thank you

  7. Pal says:

    Is there a way to turn off (open in OWA) for a individual SharePoint list. My requirement is to open the list attachment (PDF) in client application not in word online.
    Environment : Sp 2016

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