Fix problems opening documents in SharePoint libraries

If you have problems opening Office files and documents in SharePoint document libraries, including your OneDrive for Business or My Site, here are some suggestions and tips to help you fix them. If these tips don't help fix the problem, use the feedback buttons at the bottom of this article and describe the specific problem you're trying to fix, as we use feedback to improve our topics.

To troubleshoot a problem, you'll first need to figure out if the company or organization's application you're using is causing the problem, or the underlying SharePoint is having issues. If you're a web admin, network engineer, or developer trying to help a user, then you're in the right place. If you're an end user having problems with your company's line of business app, or website, you'll need to contact your SharePoint or Network admin, manager, or even a peer who might know the system.

Why features don't work

One of the most common issues occurs when using different versions of Office and SharePoint. For example, if you're using Office 2016 on a SharePoint 2010 site, you may find that some features don't work. If you can get all your apps updated to current, or the same versions, you'll find that previously missing features will work. Since SharePoint and Office are designed to work together, they're often updated with the new version of the other in mind.

This is not usually an issue when you're using Office 365 and SharePoint Online as they go hand in hand. Office 365 provides online versions of common applications, and you can download desktop versions as well.

When you're using an on-premise version of SharePoint, such as SharePoint 2016. Your desktop copies of Office can out of sync if you upgrade your local version of Office, or the SharePoint Admin updates the SharePoint server. If possible, try to use the latest versions of all your software.

Note:  If you upgraded from an earlier version of Office to Office 2013 or 2016 on your computer, you might still have older versions of some programs like Visio and Project. If you use the programs, update them to 2013 or 2016. If you no longer use them, uninstall them so that you have no older-version Office software installed.

If your computer was upgraded to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, and you’re using Internet Explorer, adjust the settings in IE so that documents will open in the Office desktop programs from the web apps.

Note: If you're using Windows 10 and Internet Explorer Edge, you might need to change your default browser to Internet Explorer 11. See the Internet Explorer download page to get the latest. You might also need Prerequisite updates for Internet Explorer 11.

  1. In Internet Explorer 10 or 11, if the menu is showing, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.

  2. Click the Security tab.

  3. Click Local intranet and make sure that Enable Protected Mode turned off. Off is the default setting for Local intranet.

    Local Intranet zone
  4. Click OK.

  5. To make sure the SharePoint ActiveX control is enabled Click Tools Internet Explorer > Tools in Internet Explorer, and then click Manage Add-ons.

  6. Find SharePoint OpenDocuments Class, and then click Enable. You might need to switch to Show: All add-ons to find it in the list.

    Enable the SharePoint OpenDocuments Class ActiveX control

Windows 10 and Internet Explorer Edge

Windows 10 ships with both Internet Explorer 11 and the default, Internet Explorer Edge. Edge is a modern browser that is updated often through Windows Update. It's features can be improved or added, but it isn't always compatible. For example, you can't use Open in Explorer in Edge.

If you're using Windows 10 and are having issues with Edge, try Internet Explorer 11.

Start Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10
  1. Click Start Windows 10 start button .

  2. Type Internet Explorer, and then select Internet Explorer.

If it works better, change your default browser to Internet Explorer 11 using these steps:

Change your default browser
  1. In Windows 10, click Start Windows 10 start button , type Default Programs, and then click Default Programs.

    Default programs in Windows
  2. Under Web browser click Microsoft Edge, and then click Internet Explorer in the Choose an app dialog box.

    Selection of Edge or IE browser in Default programs
  3. Close the Choose default apps dialog box.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10 we recommend upgrading to Internet Explorer 11. If your business requires you to run the older version of Internet Explorer and you are running the main Office 2010 programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) along with some Office 2013 components (like Lync 2013), be sure to use the SharePoint-feature DLL (Owsupp.dll) that’s part of the older Office installation. Whenever your Office 2013 installation is updated, remove Owsupp.dll from it.

We don’t recommend using 64-bit Office or 64-bit Internet Explorer for documents that are meant to be shared in a SharePoint library. 32-bit editions are much more compatible across different versions of SharePoint and Office.

For details about 64-bit compatibility see this article on TechNet.

See Also

Software requirements for Office 365 for business

this article on TechNet

Internet Explorer 11

Prerequisite updates for Internet Explorer 11

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