Open SharePoint Files in Desktop Applications by Default

There are several reasons why a user might want to open SharePoint files in the client application by default, instead of opening them in the browser. Here are a few possible reasons:

  1. More features and functionality: When a user opens a SharePoint file in the client application (such as Microsoft Word or Excel), they have access to all of the features and functionality of that application. This includes advanced formatting, formulas, macros, and other tools that may not be available in the browser version.

  2. Better performance: The client application is typically faster and more responsive than the browser-based version of SharePoint. This can be especially important for larger or more complex files, where the browser may struggle to keep up.

  3. Offline access: If a user needs to work on a SharePoint file while offline, they will need to open it in the client application. The browser-based version of SharePoint requires an internet connection to function.

  4. Familiarity: Many users may be more comfortable working in the client application than in the browser. They may have more experience with the application and feel more confident using its features.

This being said, we still recommend using the online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint. It will help with loading speed and long file path urls. If you need to enable opening files in the desktop applications by default here is a PowerShell script you can use.

Note that this script uses the SharePoint PnP PowerShell module, so you will need to install and import that module before running the script. Also, replace <site_url> with the URL of your SharePoint site.

#Connect to SharePoint site ConnectPnPOnline Url “<site_url>”#Get the default open behavior for SharePoint files $openBehavior = GetPnPProperty ClientObject $web Property DefaultFileOpenBehavior#Check if default open behavior is set to browser or client if ($openBehavior.Value eq “Strict” or $openBehavior.Value eq “Permissive”) { WriteOutput “Default open behavior is already set to client application.” } else { #Set the default open behavior to client SetPnPProperty ClientObject $web Property DefaultFileOpenBehavior Value “OpenInClient”WriteOutput “Default open behavior has been set to client application.” }#Disconnect from SharePoint site DisconnectPnPOnline

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