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Set the default open behavior for browser-enabled documents (Office Web Apps when used with SharePoint 2013)

Published: November 13, 2012

Summary: Explains how to configure the default open behavior for Office documents in SharePoint site collections and document libraries.

Applies to:  Office Web Apps 

Audience: IT Professionals

To open a document in a SharePoint 2013 document library, you just click its title. What happens next (whether the file opens in a client application or in the browser) depends on several factors, such as what type of file it is, how you’ve set up your Office Web Apps Server farm, and how you’ve set the OpenInClient feature settings of the library or site collection. The following steps show how to configure the default open behavior for Office documents where you have SharePoint 2013 configured to use Office Web Apps Server.

By default, after you configure SharePoint 2013 to use Office Web Apps Server, clicking a Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or OneNote file opens it in the browser. PDF documents open in the Word Web App. There are two ways to change the default behavior so that files open in the client applications (or the default PDF reader) instead:

  • For the SharePoint 2013 farm   You can adjust the default open behavior on a per-file-type basis for the SharePoint 2013 farm by using the New-SPWOPIBinding and Set-SPWOPIBinding Windows PowerShell cmdlets. These cmdlets can also be used to adjust the behavior of PDF documents.

  • In site collections or document libraries   Site collection administrators and users can use the OpenInClient feature in SharePoint 2013 to specify whether Office files will be opened in the client application or in the browser. Users can change this setting in the document library properties, and site collection administrators can change it in Site Collection Administration or by using the Enable-SPFeature cmdlet to enable the OpenInClient feature. See the next section for several different methods to enable the OpenInClient feature.

In general, the OpenInClient feature overrides any WOPI bindings you’ve set between SharePoint 2013 and Office Web Apps Server. In other words, if the OpenInClient feature of a SharePoint 2013 library or site collection is enabled, documents will open in the client application even if you've configured the SharePoint 2013 server to use Office Web Apps Server.

note Note:

Configuring the default open behavior for browser-enabled documents won’t affect whether users can use the Check Out and Send To features in SharePoint 2013 to download documents. For information about how to configure check out, download, and view permissions in SharePoint 2013, see Permissions planning for sites and content in SharePoint 2013.

Use one of the following procedures to set the OpenInClient feature in SharePoint 2013.

note Note:

Some of these procedures use the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to run SharePoint cmdlets. If you choose to use the Windows PowerShell console, you must add the Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell snap-in by using the Add-PSSnapin cmdlet. For more information about how to use Windows PowerShell with SharePoint 2013, see Use Windows PowerShell to administer SharePoint 2013.

note Note:

You can complete tasks in Office 2013 suites by using a mouse, keyboard shortcuts, or touch. For information about how to use keyboard shortcuts and touch with Office products and services, see Keyboard Shortcuts and Office Touch Guide.

  1. In the SharePoint site collection, choose the Settings icon > Site Settings.

  2. On the Site Settings page, under Site Collection Administration, choose Site Collection Features.

  3. On the Features page, for the Open Documents in Client Applications by Default feature, choose Activate to enable the OpenInClient feature (documents will open in the client application), or Deactivate to disable the OpenInClient feature (documents will open in the browser).

  1. First, make sure you have the following memberships:

    • securityadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.

    • db_owner fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated.

    • Administrators group on the server on which you are running Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

    Also, take a look at about_Execution_Policies and add any other required memberships.

    An administrator can use the Add-SPShellAdmin cmdlet to grant permissions to use SharePoint 2013 cmdlets.

    note Note:

    If you don’t have permissions, contact your Setup administrator or SQL Server administrator to request them. For additional information about Windows PowerShell permissions, see Permissions and Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. Open an elevated SharePoint 2013 Management Shell:

    1. On the Start menu, select All Programs.

    2. Select Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products.

    3. Choose SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and display the shortcut menu (right-click).

    4. From the shortcut menu, choose Run as administrator.

    1. Swipe in from the edge of the screen to show the charms and choose Search to see all the applications that are installed on the computer.

    2. Choose (right-click) SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to display the app bar.

    3. In the app bar, select Run as administrator.

  3. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type one of the following commands:

    • To enable the OpenInClient feature for a specific site collection (to open documents in the client application), type this command:

      Enable-SPFeature 8A4B8DE2-6FD8-41e9-923C-C7C3C00F8295 -url <SiteCollURL>
      

      where <SiteCollURL> is the URL of the site collection.

    • To enable the OpenInClient feature for all site collections (to open documents in the client application), type this command:

      Get-SPSite -limit ALL |foreach{ Enable-SPFeature 8A4B8DE2-6FD8-41e9-923C-C7C3C00F8295 -url $_.URL }
      
    • To disable the OpenInClient feature for a specific site collection (to open documents in the browser), type this command:

      Disable-SPFeature 8A4B8DE2-6FD8-41e9-923C-C7C3C00F8295 -url <SiteCollURL>
      

      where <SiteCollURL> is the URL of the site collection.

    • To disable the OpenInClient feature for all site collections (to open documents in the browser), type this command:

      Get-SPSite -limit ALL |foreach{ Disable-SPFeature 8A4B8DE2-6FD8-41e9-923C-C7C3C00F8295 -url $_.URL }
      
  1. On the document library page, choose the Library tab.

  2. In the Settings group, choose Library Settings.

  3. On the Document Library Settings page, choose Advanced settings.

  4. On the Advanced Settings page, in Opening Document in the Browser, select one of the following options:

    • Open in the client application   When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open in the corresponding client application if it's available.

    • Open in the browser   When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open in the web browser in the web app for that document type. When the document is opened in the web app, the user can then decide to open the document in the client application.

    • Use the server default   When a user chooses a document in this library, the document will open by using the default open behavior specified for the server running SharePoint 2013.

  1. First, make sure you have the following memberships:

    • securityadmin fixed server role on the SQL Server instance.

    • db_owner fixed database role on all databases that are to be updated.

    • Administrators group on the server on which you are running Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

    Also, take a look at about_Execution_Policies and add any other required memberships.

    An administrator can use the Add-SPShellAdmin cmdlet to grant permissions to use SharePoint 2013 cmdlets.

    note Note:

    If you don’t have permissions, contact your Setup administrator or SQL Server administrator to request them. For additional information about Windows PowerShell permissions, see Permissions and Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. Open an elevated SharePoint 2013 Management Shell:

    1. On the Start menu, select All Programs.

    2. Select Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products.

    3. Choose SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and display the shortcut menu (right-click).

    4. From the shortcut menu, choose Run as administrator.

    1. Swipe in from the edge of the screen to show the charms and choose Search to see all the applications that are installed on the computer.

    2. Choose (right-click) SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to display the app bar.

    3. In the app bar, select Run as administrator.

  3. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type this command:

    Get-SPWeb -site <SiteCollURL> | % {$_.Lists} | where {$_.IrmEnabled -eq $true} | % {$_.DefaultItemOpen =[Microsoft.Sharepoint.DefaultItemOpen]::<DefaultItemOpenSetting>; $_.Update()}
    

    where:

    • <SiteCollURL> is the URL of the site collection where the document libraries reside.

    • <DefaultItemOpenSetting> is a DefaultItemOpen enumeration value that specifies the default open behavior. Use PreferClient to open documents in their associated client applications (if available). Use Browser to open documents in the browser.

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