Desktop Shortcut to Sharepoint Files

Copper Contributor


I currently have a lot of users sharing a small excel file which is currently over OneDrive but im seeing a few minor teething issues with so many people connected (<15 people).


The file itself is stored on site and so I wondered if its possible to directly open this file with the desktop app?


The problem im experiencing is, I can browse the folder structure and open this in Windows explorer, however if I close the webpage down it appears to drop the credientials and the location is no longer available through windows explorer.


I've tried desktop shortcuts directly to the file, to the parent folder but all drop the access once the webpage is closed.


Is there another way of achieving this? I really wanted to strip out any middle software such as OneDrive or Teams and just go straight to the Sharepoint File.



27 Replies

Have you tried getting a link to the file from SharePoint and then creating a Shortcut in Windows using the link? 

Right click the file in SharePoint and choose 'Copy Link'
In Windows, create a Shortcut and paste the link as the path.

Users can also pin the link in Excel recent files.


Hi Steve,

Yes I've tried this and the link within the shortcut will work however it always opens the web page version of the office file as opposed to the desktop App.


The shortcut is along the lines of; 


I've tried cutting it back to; 

and it simply downloads a copy of the file.


I also came across this: and have tried enabling this too without it making any difference.

@Adam1V Have you tried going to SharePoint and then Library settings for the library holding the file, choose Advanced and change the setting to "Open in Client"?


Yes, and that works well when opening the file through Sharepoint, but for the most part all users are used to have a desktop shortcut, so desperately want to try and stick with a desktop app shortcut if possible.


It sounds so easy and should be straight forward but its not :(

This Site suggests the Sharepoint site should be added to the Internet Explorer trusted sites, which is something i'll need to try and test when im back in work tomorrow. This could be why the credentials/ is dropping after closing down the webpage.



Any issues syncing the files via OneDrive Sync client and opening the files from there? A Desktop shortcut to the file in the synced document library/folder would open it in the client.

Hi @Adam1V how about coaching your users to open the Excel desktop app and then clicking on the file in the list of recently opened files (even pinning this file in that list)?

This is how we're currently running it, and its kinda ok but in a couple of instances w'eve come across a couple of Sync issues and the user has been presented with options about which version to keep or merge. A couple of the users are not that technical and wouldnt fully understand the implications of these selections.

In my mind, ~15 people all opening and editing an excel document held locally on their PCs (albeit in the OneDrive Synced folder) doesnt sound ideal compared to everyone working on the same file directly from Sharepoint?
It may be my lack of understanding and this may be the normal way of doing this?
This would probably work for a number of users, however a handful of users are opening many other excel documents so I think it may drop off the recent lists for some



I haven't done a comparison  but with the Auto Save on it shouldn't make much difference. Assuming you are on Win10 and latest version of Office. 


What I have seen is that co-authoring with Excel and lots of users, especially if they are large spreadsheets doesn't work very well. We have had to stop co-authoring on some excel workbooks and turn on checkout/in instead. 


@Adam1V  If your users can't learn how to pin a file in modern office so it's always on their list, then create the shortcut and open in browser then select open in desktop app from the browser and select "always do this for this type of file"

@Adam1V - that's why pinning it may help.  When you pin a file, it remains listed no matter how many other files you open.

@Deleted I wasnt actually aware of this feature myself, it does look useful, thank you.

Just to confirm, adding the to the list of trusted websites has resolved the issue. I can now browse the folder structure anytime without first having to open the browser and connect. This allows me to create a desktop shortcut direct from SharePoint Online.

BTW @Adam1V - I forgot the mention that the list of recent and pinned documents will be synchronized across all of the Office 365 apps and the web site.  (The homepage displays recent and pinned as well.)

@DeletedI've used the windows explorer short-cut for Excel, and add the URL of sharepoint's file (https://.... .xlsx) bracketed at the end, on the Target field:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE" ""


same as if you hit Run with:

excel ""


Works fine!

If you want a desktop shortcut to be opened by your desktop app then do the following.


Install Onedrive app -> In your browser, go to the folder containing the desired file in sharepoint -> on the upper ribbon select add shortcut to OneDrive (if not showing, click on the three dots), this action creates a shortcut for the folder containing the file -> Open your OneDrive folder on you PC (the fastest way is clicking on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar and then on the "open folder" icon) > Locate the wanted file > Create Desktop shortcut > Enjoy! @Adam1V 

Indeed, I can do that.

But then I will miss the collaborative features: if I open the file via windows explorer, I can't see other people editing it and it won't be synchronized.
It's a major downside to using onedrive sync.