I have an intranet where I want to configure all Excel/Word documents to open in the browser window. How do I change this setting for all users?

closed as off-topic by Tom O'Connor Jun 5 '14 at 21:25

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions must be relevant to professional system administration. Server Fault is dedicated to professional system and network administrators. End user and enthusiast questions are off-topic (contact your system administrator or hire a professional to help you out). Please see the Help Center for more information." – Tom O'Connor
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


In Windows XP, to configure Internet Explorer to open Office files in the browser window, as opposed to the appropriate Office program, follow the steps below:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options.
  3. Click the 'File Types' tab.
  4. In the 'Registered file types' list, click the specific Office document type (for example, Microsoft Excel Worksheet), and then click Advanced.
  5. In the 'Edit File Type' dialog box, check the 'Browse in same window' box.
  6. Click OK.

In Windows 7 I believe this is located in the Default Programs (accessible from Control Panel).

If you need to do it on many computers, you can run a script to change the registry.

PS: I personally always want excel and word documents to open outside the browser window as it can lead to weird behaviors when opening multiple documents...

  • Still need to deploy the change with a GPO. – Tom O'Connor Apr 2 '12 at 17:16
  • @TomO'Connor Yes but I am unsure if the question was asking for how to deploy the change or what to change... – assylias Apr 2 '12 at 17:17
  • I don't think it matters. Web browsers aren't meant to open files like that. I think it's a dumb idea :P – Tom O'Connor Apr 2 '12 at 17:18
  • Completely agree with that. – assylias Apr 2 '12 at 17:19

If you open an Excel or Word document in a browser, it'll save the file somewhere else. Browsers can't open things that aren't HTML.

If what you mean is "I want people to use Online Office / Software as a Service", then you need to configure a service like that, be it Sharepoint, or Google Docs. That's beyond the scope of this question.

If what you actually mean is "I made a registry change so that the default application for .xls and .doc files is 'Default Web Browser' and I want to push that out to everyone in the domain", then your answer lies with Group Policy Objects.

  • This is blatantly false. IE can load many other file formats, including Office documents, assuming you have the appropriate software installed. – Dan Jun 5 '14 at 19:37

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.