Office 365 - New Blank Document opens in browser

Copper Contributor

When  using the Office 365 application (Windows 10 and Windows 11) v18.2301.1131.0

Whenever you go to Excel / Word and click New document it defaults to opening in the web browser. The individual apps are installed and it used to open in them. Is there any way to bring back this behavior? 

I'm not looking for alternatives, I'm looking for a solution from within the Office 365 application. This is more for my mother who is older and freaks out when things change, I don't personally open documents from within the Office 365 application.


Thank you.

4 Replies


To open a new document in the Office 365 desktop app instead of the web browser, you can try one of the following options:


Select the file in OneDrive or SharePoint.

Select the More icon, then Open.

Select Open in (app) (e.g. Open in Word ).

Change the setting below

File > Options > Advanced > Link handling in any Microsoft 365 for Windows app.


On Mac, you can change the setting in Preferences > General > Link Handling.

If your files are stored in OneDrive, SharePoint, or Outlook, you can have them open in the desktop app by default.

To do this, go to File > Options > Advanced > Link Handling in any Office 365 desktop app.


I hope this helps you.


@NikolinoDE - I suppose I could find the file that is yet to be created and right-click on it. However, I suspect this attempt will set me up for failure. Even if I succeed in finding the file, I am likely to fail in opening a "new" document as the existence of a file would imply it is not new - either I or someone else has already gone through the process of opening a new document and hence there is a file! All in all, this is crossing the threshold of my cognitive abilities to think more about it. I need some fresh air.

@NikolinoDE I've tried the advanced settings route in Word and Outlook, but I continue to have Word docs open in office online when clicking a linked doc via an email in relation to collaborative authoring.  ex. user makes a comment, it sends an email to me that I was mentioned, the doc link takes me to office online instead of the app


That's only to change Browser on Desktop in File->Options->Advanced->File Open Preference

Open file links directly in Office desktop apps - Microsoft Support

At least in my case it works when I click on the link in email with comment notification