Word online opens the old version of document from SharePoint library

Occasional Contributor

I have updated a Word document in SharePoint document library.
When I open the document in Word 2016 desktop, I can see the newest version. But if I open the document in Word online, I see the old version of the document.
I have cleared browser cache, but it didn't help.

14 Replies

Hi @Kirsi Karhula,


It sounds like you are logged in with differnt user accounts.


Most likely WORD 2016 is picking up the user account that you are logged in with on your PC, where your word online would pick up the user that you are logged in with in SharePoint Online.


So if you have two different accounts then you will find that one user gets the checked out version and the other on gets the published version. To test this publish the latest version and see if updates are coming through for the user that gets the previous version of the document



I finally found solution: Office file cache need to be cleaned, so I deleted content in the following folder:



Now I can update Word and PowerPoint files and the new versions are stored in SharePoint document library.



Kirsi Karhula

Thank you! This was driving me crazy.

I had this same issue on a Microsoft Project File on SharePoint on Office 365.  I would save changes to the project plan that others users on our team were not seeing because SharePoint was rendering a much older version for the file.  Clearing their cache fixed this as well.


Does anyone know why the Cache needs to be cleared?  You would think users would be presented the latest version when opening files from the SharePoint site.

Just curious if anyone has found a workaround for this issue.  I don't have the folders listed below to clear any cache from, however, the web version opens an older document than the desktop version.  @Kirsi Karhula 

@Devan85 - Make sure to show hidden folders in Explorer view.  We've also seen this issue with Project, Word and Excel files.  Clearing Office cache has been the only solution.

@Jef Meyer  - I was able to show the hidden files and delete the cache, however, this problem still exists.  I had a folder named 16.0 instead of 15.0 as described, not sure if that makes a difference or not though.

@Devan85 -15.0 vs. 16.0 is just the Office version difference.  Have you looked at clearing the Office Document Cache? Delete your Office Document Cache  

@Jef Meyer This was originally posted in 2017, and it's still BROKEN.  When I locate a file on Sharepoint, and select "open in app", it opens an old version and then shows me "updates available".   Sometimes it will tell me there is a newer version available, and asks if I want to work with it.  Doh!  Of course I want to work with the latest version - that should be the default!  If I wanted an old version, I would go through the "Version History" and find the one I wanted!  


This is like walking into a diner and ordering a slice of pie.  The waitress puts a old moldy slice down in front of you, and then asks you if you'd rather have a fresh slice.  


I realize this is probably due to some caching problem.  That's not the point.  The point is that this is unexpected and undesirable behavior from the point of view of the end users, and it should be fixed.  

I agree entirely with biteme1160. This is not satisfactory behaviour, and there should at least be a way to configure your way around it - e.g. a setting in Excel/Word to ALWAYS get the latest version from Sharepoint.


I have created an Excel macro for one of my customers which updates a series of other Excel files in Sharepoint (directly from Sharepoint NOT from a synch'd OneDrive folder) - but, apparently randomly, the Excel App sometimes chooses to open an old version of the modified file, and fails to update the actual file in Sharepoint. It makes the macro automation un-useable since it is not possible within the macro to detect that the file is some old version. The result is that the automation becomes unreliable - which completely defeats its purpose.

This behaviour is clearly a deliberately designed FEATURE, since Excel isn't throwing an unhandled error - it knows there is a newer file "on the server" (Sharepoint Online), and shows a message asking the user to refresh. Well why not just have a setting to ignore the cache and grab the "server" version every time? After all, I opened it directly "from the server", so, yes, that is the file that I want! (I've tried Options > Save > Delete files from cache when closing Excel, and I have deleted the Microsoft Office Cache, but that doesn't work). 

This "feature" is driving me nuts, and looking at this thread, it looks like it has been there for years, with nothing being done by Microsoft.

Exactly! The developers who seem unable or unwilling to fix problems like this should be ashamed of themselves.

I am having this problem and it is really annoying.   It is RANDOM as well and this adds to the madness.  @biteme1160 

Thanks for the solution, just want to provide quick way to access OfficeFileCache folder
%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Office\16.0\OfficeFileCache (or %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OfficeFileCache for previous version)

The issue happen several years and still not fixed, it happen randomly for our end users.