Links to Sharepoint Document in Excel Opens in Browser

Copper Contributor



We have several spreadsheets that have hyperlinks to documents in Sharepoint folders. Until recently, when the hyperlink is selected the document would open in the application. However, recently, more often than not the document is downloaded via the browser (Chrome). Sometimes the link behaves as expected and the document will open in its native application but will then revert back without intervention.


I have checked the Sharepoint and Office 365 settings and the default is to open documents in their native application and this works when the document is opened from explorer.


Thanks for any help you can give.





30 Replies

@80Mark80 Started a new topic as requested, but NO links are not opening in a browser anymore for me, they are DOWNLOADING.

@Jentimus thanks so much for this simple solution!

The URI scheme as a prefix worked just fine. Thanks for posting it!

I’ve come across this thread whilst trying to solve a similar problem and wondered if you can help.

I have an excel file that I want multiple users to edit at once so it needs to open in a browser by default. Some of the users are not necessarily that tech savvy so I don’t really want to accompany it with instructions of how to change their settings to make this happen.

From what I can gather, in the url, I need “action=default”. Will this do what I want or if they are currently set up with the default being to open in the desktop app, will it do that instead? If so, do you know how I can get it to do what I want?

To complicate matters a little further, it has a macro that only a small number of users will very occasionally use - I can tell them to then open it in the desktop app after it has opened in a browser but really I then want it opening in their browser next time they use it.

Thanks for any thoughts you have!

@job1986 I think that if there is a macro involved that using Excel in a browser is a not a good long term solution. If you are using Office 365, it is possible to have multiple people editing the file at once, what Microsoft calls co-authoring and here, using OneDrive. I've trained users to select "Open in the Desktop App" from the menu, sometimes available in SharePoint or to open the desktop app from the browser, but I've had more luck recently having users sync the folder that the Excel file is in with OneDrive. Then from Windows file explorer the user opens the file.


I haven't tried co-authoring this way, but I think that it should work if the User's OneDrive's settings for Office file collaboration has the "Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open" checked (Microsoft help). It may also require auto-save to the cloud to be enabled.

Thank you for this. I’ll give it a go!
hate to open such an old thread, but, did it work?
It was quite hit and miss but that may have been users not following instructions properly!

@job1986 I re-created the problem people experienced when Chrome was their default browser. The easiest switch I can think of is saying that Edge is better. Not awesome, but it's a blanket statement I can work with. 

Thanks. Makes sense, but we have some things we regularly use that seems to be better in chrome so our IT guys have that set as default and I suspect would be reluctant to change. Interesting the browser makes a difference, though.
Oh, shoot. That's a tough break. What solution did you finally settle on, then?