Now in Teams Public Preview: Default file open setting for office files


Feature description

The Teams desktop and web apps for Windows and Mac now enable users to configure the default app used to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that have been shared in Microsoft Teams.

Users can configure Teams to open the file directly in Teams (default), open in the web browser, or open in the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint desktop apps.

Prior to this feature rollout, clicking a PowerPoint, Word, or Excel file shared in Teams would open the file in Teams. Users could then select the option to open the file in the browser or Office desktop app.

Alternatively, users could select More options (...) > Open and then select the target app in which they want to view/edit the Office file.

Note: While it was not previously possible to change the default, this menu now offers an entry point for users to change the default app used to open Office files.



Screenshot showing the options for opening an Excel spreadsheet from the Teams desktop app




Screenshot showing the 'Change default' options to configure which app is used to open Office files

Flighting status

Available to all starting now.


How to enable your client for Preview

Step 1: IT admins – read instructions here

Step 2: Users – read instructions here 


Feature release notes

Feature should be mentioned here before posting -


How to enable the feature

The ability to change the default app used to open Office files is available to all users by default. There are no admin controls or policies to disable this feature.

Users can navigate to Teams Settings > General and scroll down to the Files section. The dropdown menu can be used to select the default app to open Office files:

  • Teams (default)
  • Desktop app
  • Browser



Screenshot of Teams general settings with the option for setting default Office file app highlighted

Note: The option to choose 'Desktop app' is only available when using the Teams desktop app for Windows or macOS and only applies to that device. The Teams web app only shows options for 'Teams' and 'Browser'.


O365 workload, Microsoft products dependency

Workload, product etc

Dependency (Yes/No)

If yes, please share version requirement and any other dependency requirements

Office build


To open a file in the Office desktop apps, users must install and activate version 16 or higher of PowerPoint/Word/Excel.


Clients supported -













Known issues



Known limitations

To open a file in the Office desktop apps, users must install and activate version 16 or higher of PowerPoint/Word/Excel.


How to provide feedback

If you run into any issues report them via your Teams client -- Help (bottom left) -- Give feedback


Thank you,

Preview Team @Soumitra Paul 

Quality & Customer Obsession, Microsoft Teams

47 Replies
Same here at our org. Teams app version 64-bit Updated 9/28/2021. I go to Settings and the File menu, and I only get Teams and Browser in the drop down even if I scroll. I've logged out, quit, restarted, 2FA'd, and logged back in Teams and no difference on my machine. Others with the same version have it.

Unfortunately all files opened via the search bar still open within Teams, the setting is useless for anyone wanting to utilise the convenience of the search bar. Please fix this ASAP as otherwise the feature is useless to many of us. Cheers!



Two more weeks and I still don't have the feature. Anyone from MSFT listening who can advise?



The frustrating part for me is that I did have this option, it went away, and now I can't figure out how to get it back. Our organization has a mixture of people who have and do not have the option even when on the same versions of Teams, Word, and Excel.

Hi, is being able to set this as an MS Teams admin for the organisation rather than it being for individuals going to be added?


Is it possible to add an item here. For example: open with "NOTHING".

Because I want to force the users to open a document in this phase. Please do not ask why. And I want also a registry key or setting to control this to "NOTHING". And user may NOT CHANGE this setting.


Is it possible? If you ask why, the answer is; because want that feature to secure some settings. And we want also set all the settings via registry or json files. Can you also give instructions/manual about this?



@Metin Baygül - Thanks for sharing the feedback.

Can you please elaborate more about your requirement.

Are you saying you need an additional option under Files open settings? (like "Teams/Desktop/Browser/"NOTHING")?