Applies To: SharePoint Online users 


We've introduced a more collaborative web experience for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.  

Now, when you click a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file in OneDrive for Business or open a sharing link to a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file in your browser, you will open directly into edit mode, allowing you to jump into work faster than ever.


To open a document for viewing, you can right-click on a document from SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business and click Preview.  


To open the legacy viewer from within the application, you can click on View > Reading View in the ribbon. 


Note: You cannot change the default behavior for your tenant to default open in Reading View. We are exploring creating a setting to set the default open behavior for Document Libraries. 

Regular Contributor

What is the rollout status of this? Is it already available to all standard release tenants?

New Contributor

Does this change in behavior mean that a new version is created every time somebody opens the document?  Yikes!


@Rob Ellis Yes, this feature is rolled out to all SharePoint tenants, including standard release. 


@Jeff Bentivoglio No, a new version of the document is not created every time someone opens the document. Because the document is saved to SharePoint, each author is opening the same document. This also allows multiple users to co-author the same document. 

Occasional Contributor

 I see this in my tenant today!   I like it!  Reducing the friction for the end user is Great!   Keep it up!


We need this to be optional on our tenant. Are there plans to give administrators control over this setting?


Opening Documents in Edit mode will cause some issues for us on libraries where we have strict version control.




@Richard Bourke We do not plan to make the default behavior an admin setting. We do plan to offer controls to restrict certain document libraries to open in View mode instead of Edit mode. In the short term, you may apply a setting to require check out for documents in those libraries that require strict version control. You can apply this setting through Library Settings > Versioning Settings. 


@Chika Uchendu, I think you're missing the scenario when something as simple as choosing a slicer or switching a tab in an Excel doc does indeed create new versions... This blew up inboxes for anyone who setup notifications. That said, I do like the the method of being able to set default opening view on a library (and even for a document pretty please), because without that we needed to change permissions and that introduces it's own set of challenges. Cc @Jeff Bentivoglio


@Chika Uchendu, Can you give more information about the plan to offer controls to restrict document libraries. Will this be available as a setting on all libraries?

Forcing Check-Out is something we would like to to avoid.



@Richard Bourke We are planning to enable a setting that can be applied to all document libraries. When enabled, the setting will open documents in that library to open in View mode, exactly as the previous behavior. I do not have a confirmed release date at this time, but will share another post when this feature is available. 


@Ian Bruckner We plan to support setting the default open for documents as well as libraries. You should see this setting in your desktop client under File > Info > Protect Document > Always Open Read-Only. Applying this setting will open the specified documents in read-only mode, but still allows editing if the user confirms they would like to make changes. We will share another post when the ability to set this feature is available in the web. 


Thank you @Chika Uchendu, that sounds like exactly what we need.

Great. Thank you. 


Hello @Chika Uchendu, Has something changed with this? This morning I noticed documents are opening in View mode by default again.


@Richard Bourke There is an ongoing issue that started yesterday that is causing documents to open in View-mode by default. We are investigating and should have it resolved soon. Thank you. 


UPDATE: The behavior has been restored. Thank you. 


Thanks @Chika Uchendu. We prefer the view only mode by default, so I was hopeful this was a permanent change. Any word of when that may become an administrative option?

New Contributor

May I add my strong support for enabling a library option to open documents in view mode by default. We have many users who are viewers 90% of the time and editors 10%. The abrupt change in the default document opening mode was confusing for them and the right-click workaround continues to be a major irritant. If we could get an idea of when the library option will be rolled out, it would help to placate them a bit.

Occasional Visitor

In our organization we have the similar requests, as our compliance team would not want those who just review the documents are shown as the last modifier of the document. SharePoint should definitely need to have the option to select default behavior to be either 'Open as Viewer' and 'Open with Editor'.

New Contributor

@Chika Uchendu having Excel tabs in MS Teams open in view mode by default or thru admin setting would be very practical as well. The Excel gallery view is only visible when Excel online opens the file in view mode, therefore. Also Teams user can then adjust the slicers in a nicer view then in the edit mode (plus not save new versions all the time to Sharepoint)


See my description of the use case here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams/Excel-quot-browser-view-quot-does-not-work-in...