Open files by default in Desktop or Browser or Teams

Copper Contributor
The release notes for version Version 2105 (Build 14026.20246) say:
"User preference setting to open files by default in Desktop (or) Browser (or) Teams: Users can set their default preference as Browser, Desktop or Teams when opening Office (Word, Excel, and Power Point) files that are shared in Teams.Desktop setting can be selected if latest Office clients are installed and activated",and%20activ...

How do we set this user preference?

35 Replies
best response confirmed by adam deltinger (MVP)

Hi @Chris70

The users do it in the desktop client > (...) Settings next to Avatar > General > Files (Scroll to bottom)

Best, Chris

Hi, I don't have that option. When will it be generally available? Many Thanks.

Hi, I now have this feature. I found the following:

When I open files in Team Channels - it does respect my choice.
When I open files in Chat - it does NOT respect my choice and always opens in Teams.
When I open files in "popped out" Chat - It does respect my choice.
When I open files from Search - it does NOT respect my choice and always opens in Teams.

Is it expected work like this? Or is it a bug that it fails to work in Chat (unless popped out) and search?

Many Thanks.

I can only chose to open between Teams and the browser, not the desktop app. Anyone with a solution for this?
Roadmap item 82662 is marked as GA rolled out. While setting the default way to open, I can only select between teams and browser. While opening a file, I can choose to open it in app. But I can't set this as default. Teams version is (64-bit); office version is 2109 (14430.20298). What am I missing?

Why can't i choose App as default?!? Does microsoft not test their software before release? This has got to be the dumbest implementation of default app ever.


I dont want to open my files in the teams app. I dont want to open them in the annoying web app - i want to open my files in my desktop app - which we pay a dearly license for!!


How hard can this be? There surely is more to this than just code. Microsoft just doesnt want us to use the dekstop apps anymore must be the conclusion.

@Gustav_S If you are using the desktop client you should see the choice of the Desktop app in addition to Teams and Browser. However if you are accessing Teams via the browser you only you see the option for Teams and Browser.





This topic is not about how to open a document. This is about how to set a default app. It makes no sense that you can't choose desktop apps as default!! Why!!
Hi the screen shots above show the options in the settings menu that allow you to select your default app for opening files.
But that is not how it is on any installations in our office. We have the browser and teams option as in the right picture when using the desktop app. This is true both for current release and preview versions of the teams client.


Having the same issue here.  Used to be able to default to the app.  Now that option is gone... bizarro... and a total PITA

No, no option for desktop app in the Teams app, only Teams and Browser.
This is not an option on my 365 Tenancy. Teams just offer you Teams or Browser
Nav to > General > File File open Preference
Browser or Teams
really need Open in App
This is working for me for Word and power point from a Teams chat file! So great!

I am also using Tasks by Planner and Todo inside of Teams, but this setting doesn't seem to work from there. Any ideas when it will be added? This is such a timesaver.

@NikkiChapple_ I also have the desktop version installed and only see the Teams and Browser options, No option for App


If you can't see it yet,

1.) Try updating the Teams client
2.) If that doesn't work enable preview (public or developer). Note to enable public preview you/your admin will need to enable you to see the option in the Teams client. Once enabled in the TAC, go to (...) next to the avatar > about > public preview. It'll 100% be there in preview.

Best, Chris

Hi Christopher,

I have updated the app, but still i see no option 'Desktop app' in settings.



The thing  is: i remember my Teams asking me some time ago to pick a default. This was probably when the feature becme available. And some of my colleagues have indeed set the default to desktop app. But: i was distracted at the time, and picked teams (silly me!) 

So I really want to change the default to desktp app, but can't :(


I don't quite understand what you write about TAC. And i don't have an option  > about > public preview. Do I understand correctly that I have to talk to our Admin, to enable this for us / me? 


Thanks in advance :)




As already stated multiple times in this thread: It does NOT help enabling public preview. Please do not state that "it will 100% be there" when this is not true.

Running latest public preview version or the latest standard release does not enable the option to choose desktop.

It's mind boggling why Microsoft doesn't fix such a blatant error that has such a high impact on usability. It is one of the main complaints from our employees when using teams that they have to go through multiple steps just to open a document.
1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by adam deltinger (MVP)

Hi @Chris70

The users do it in the desktop client > (...) Settings next to Avatar > General > Files (Scroll to bottom)

Best, Chris

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