Unable to open SharePoint documents in local client (rich client) from Chrome due to NPAPI plug-in missing

**UPDATE (8/10/2016)  Opening Office documents with Chrome / SharePoint 2013 stopped working around the May SharePoint 2013 update, this issue has been resolved and the fix is in the August 2016 update for SharePoint 2013.


August 2016 CU for SharePoint 2013 product family is available for download

-- End Update --

Some may have noticed that recently Google has removed the NPAPI Plug-in support from Chrome.  This change is discussed here http://blog.chromium.org/2014/05/update-on-npapi-deprecation.html. What this means is that when opening a file from SharePoint on premise or SharePoint online the browser will default to either downloading a local copy or attempting to open the file in browser (regardless of your library settings).

Many other SharePoint integration features will not work when the NPAPI support is disabled, they include:

  • Documents will not open in rich client app when doc lib link is clicked
  • Lync Presence information will not show
  • Export to Excel from doc lib and SharePoint list will not work
  • "Edit Library" button will not work
  • "New Quick Step" will not work
  • "Workflow Settings" \ "Create a workflow in SharePoint designer" will not work
  • "Open with Access" and "Open with Project
  • "Edit Lists"

As this can have an impact on how Office integrates with SharePoint and Sharepoint Online we have found a temporary work around that allows you to enable the NPAPI plug-ins while things are being figured out.

1. Open Chrome

2. Put "chrome://flags/#enable-npapi" into the address bar

3. Find the "Enable NPAPI" plug-in and enable it

4. Select "relaunch now" at the bottom of the page

5. Test, you should now have your old functionality back.

The above workaround will not work after September 2015, per Googles blog post:

"In September 2015 we will remove the override and NPAPI support will be permanently removed from Chrome. Installed extensions that require NPAPI plugins will no longer be able to load those plugins."


Another workaround would be to open the file in the browser with Office Web Apps, then click the button from the web editor to open in rich client application, like "Edit in Word" button

Current Status:

The fix for this issue has been rolled out in the 8/11/2015 SharePoint 2013 update and should be present starting in build 15.0.4745.1000 and on.

Concerning Lync presence info in a SharePoint page, Chrome is deprecating plugin technology that made this feature work.  We’re working on a replacement.  In the meantime, if seeing presence inside SharePoint is essential for you, use IE.

We unfortunately don’t have timelines to share on this yet. (the presence replacement feature)

Comments (36)
  1. SharePoint Training says:

    Hey even I am Unable to open SharePoint documents in my local client from SharePoint from Chrome and it showing NPAPI plug-in missing error..then I searched for solution I found this blog,it helps me a lot and I Rectify my problem.

  2. Josh S. says:

    This is a major issue in the enterprise where we have many users that use chrome and have become used to SharePoint document library functions working in Chrome. Please find a fix for this that will be easy to deploy enterprise wide.

  3. SJNBham says:

    Enabling NPAPI in Chrome wasn’t enough for us. We had to do a repair on the Office install as well after enabling the NPAPI flag. Then the links starting working correctly. Because Google plans to permanently disable NPAPI support later this year, we’re
    concerned a long-term solution may not be released by Microsoft in time. I’m wondering if they already have plans to continue to offer this feature in Chrome with a non-NPAPI solution. Here’s info about the issue on the Chromium site:


    Also, the comment from SharePoint Training appears to just be an ad.

  4. Johann D. says:

    Does it mean that Microsoft has not yet planned any replacement for "FFWinPlugin Plug-in"?


    Typically used to open a Word document using a piece of javascript.

  5. Stefan H. says:

    thanks for the good article and the valuable information, even though they are most alerting for us.
    The text reads:
    "A fix for SharePoint 2013 to address this issue is scheduled to be shipped in August, the preview "Edit" button should always open in the rich client after this fix is implemented."

    Could you please name a source for this information? Is there a way to follow up on this solution and track its progress?


  6. Michael P. says:

    Any updates on this? August is very close!

  7. Raul says:


  8. Eduard says:


  9. james says:


    What do we know about disabling the NPAPI extensions in SharePoint altogether? After the fix this month, will we still have to contend with the Google Chrome NPAPI support warning message that our users are constantly bombarded with ?

  10. SAI says:

    Any updates on this ? We are in august already

  11. stephan says:

    Surely Microsoft meant end of August

  12. jignesh says:

    Looks like August CU is out but I don’t see NPAPI updates in list

  13. mike says:

    "A fix for SharePoint online should be in build 4215."
    We are all currently on SharePoint Online build 4316 so I am thinking they missed that goal. 😐

  14. RosaQ says:

    So no updated for this? well they still have a week but I start to doubt about it.

  15. xMarcus says:

    Can someone with a social media presence light this thread on fire? 6 days left and still no fix.

  16. Ben W - MSFT says:

    Issue should be resolved via the august update package

  17. Herbalist says:

    What is specifically the details of the "FIX" they are referring to?

  18. susan says:

    It is September 2 and I have no work around. Any ideas? I am unwilling to give up Chrome.


  19. George Lubomirov says:

    Susan well that seems to be the idea. Google rendered useless Microsoft’s Silverlight in Chrome with this move so now Microsoft seems to be telling them "Well we’ll make our users switch from Chrome to Edge then". On-topic: No solution as of 04 September.

  20. joep says:

    Ben, when you say "Issue should be resolved via the august update package", what issue are you referring to?

    There seems to be nothing in the KB articles for this CU that has even slightly to do with NPAPI or Chrome!?

  21. xMarcus says:

    Ben, any further updates on replacing NPAPI functionality?

    I’ve installed the August 2015 CU. Clicking documents in Chrome with NPAPI disabled does not launch Office Applications in context of the SharePoint location, instead it redirects to OWA..

    For some specifics, have integrations which leverage the editDocumentWithProgID2 method, is there any work being done to replace/upgrade this method to not rely on NPAPI? Please reach out if you need any clarifications or better context to present a case to
    develop a replacement.

    I can’t be the only one who needs to ensure my clients and users a solution will be available in short order when Chrome finalizes the change we have know about for nearly a year.


  22. Charlie Price says:

    I am seeing the issue especially in libraries that are set to Newsletter view.

    this has caused chaos this week!

  23. tsap says:

    My solution is to use "IE Tab" addon in chrome. You can set it to open particular sites with this add-on by default.

    1. Joe Y. says:

      It’s still a problem in September 2017 but the IETab add on works

  24. Ben W - MSFT says:

    I was under the impression that any method that relied on npapi was now set to bypass the check for office and just go straight to attempting to open the client installations. Currently my test environment is working as I would expect post npapi removal.
    If you can give some more specifics on what you’re attempting I’ll be happy to take a look into it, but it may take an actual support ticket to fully look into some of these questions

  25. Gokul says:

    Hi Ben,

    is the issue is fixed in August or september CU,please let us know as iam not able to find any mention about this issue in release notes..Thanks

  26. George says:

    I would like an update on this.

    Office 365 uses the NPAPI plugin that will soon be unsupported:

    When will Office use the new protocol (PPAPI)?

  27. Jschertz says:

    We are on version 15.0.4763.1000 and still having the problem. Do we have an update from Microsoft on this?

  28. Philip Worrell says:

    Is this one of those things that you are not going to fix or having trouble fixing. Using multiple browsers for different apps is becoming so confusing for users.

    the default behavior of downloading copies of files or the web app is just adding to user frustration. Does not appear to matter how many times we advise users to use IE.

  29. Any idea on when we can expect a fix for this or have you completely given up?

  30. Anon says:

    I found the fix.
    Uninstall Chrome.
    Download Chrome version 56.0___________ standalone offline installer.
    problem solved. At least it worked for me 🙂

  31. Erik A says:

    Is there any fix for this yet? Or at least any plans to fix this?

  32. Daniel M says:

    I am having issues opening Excel documents in Excel web viewer for Sharepoint. Any known fixes for this, now that we are in the year 2017? Thanks

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