Open Documents in Client Application by Default not working

Copper Contributor


I have a site collection with the Open Documents in Client Applications by Default turned on in the Site Collection Features and the Advanced Settings in the document library are also set to Open in the client application, but the Excel and Word documents continue to open in the browser. Yes, my users can right click on the document and open the document in the client application, but this is not their normal practice and worked as expected just a few weeks ago. What am I missing?

9 Replies

@Jeff Henry  Can you please ensure the following at the site collection level

  1. Click the gear icon to open Settings, and then click Site settings.

  2. Click Site collection features. (Make sure you are at the Site Collection Level Settings)

  3. Locate the Open Documents in Client Applications by Default feature in the list, and then click Activate.

Once you activate the same the documents should open using your client application.






Thank you, Vik, for your quick response. but as I stated in my original question this feature is already turned on in the Site collection features as well as in the document Advanced settings.

@Jeff Henry @Vikram_Samal We have the exact same problem here (SharePoint 2016 on prem). Both in the advanced settings of the document library and in the features of the sitecollection, the option is set to open the documents by default in the client, but documents keep on opening in Office Online. Did you guys find a solution already?




@Dieter Van Dooren and others

I am having the same issue but don't have the site feature mentioned as an option.  I want to force any documents to open in the client.  When anything opens in the browser, all heck breaks loose.  Thanks.  

@Jeff Henry 


I also don't have that option in my site collection settings-


...but, I have learned at least this much-- we have to send links to FOLDERS in order to prevent auto-opening in the browser. If someone gets a link directly to the document it will always open in the browser first - no option. But if they at least have to go to the library first, then clicking will by default open in Word client application because of the library settings.

@Kathy Mayhew  @Jeff Henry thank you.  we try to do this as well.  do you have any issues with coauthoring when someone accesses and opens a Word document in the Chrome browser?  

I have the same issue on two libraries on the same subsite in SharePoint online.

@SteveHendy please utilize the modern experience.....

We have changed the settings at the Site Collection level and the Library but if we link directly to the PPT, it opens in the browser. We want the files to default open in client app.