July 21, 2024

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

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.


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

Set the OpenInClient feature for site collections

  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).