SharePoint Open in the client application document opens in browser

SharePoint provides a very useful functionality with Microsoft Office documents - you can make the office documents open directly in the browser and the clients need not worry about installing Office on their local machines. Moreover, they can add and modify the documents directly from the browser.

You require Office Web Apps (OWA) or Excel Services enabled to avail of this feature.


You are using SharePoint with Excel Services or Office Web Apps.

Due to a business requirement, you want documents in a particular Document Library to open locally on client machines instead of opening directly from the site in the browser.

To meet this requirement, you make the following setting on the document library.

Library -> Library Settings -> General Setting -> Advanced Settings -> Opening Documents in the Browser -> Default open behavior for browser-enabled documents -> Open in the client application -> Click OK and save settings

Note - There are 3 ways to set the default open behavior - Open in the client application, Open in the browser, Use the server default (Open in the browser)


Even after making this setting, documents still open in the browser for some users. Documents open on the client machines for few users.


This is by functionality and there are 2 behaviors -

Microsoft Office installed on the client machine - Document will open on the client machine in this case.

Remember, you need to have Microsoft Office installed in order to work on office documents from your local machine.

Microsoft Office not installed on the client machine - Documents will open in the browser in this case. This is because you do not have a compatible tool available on the local machine to work with office documents.

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