Mac Office 2016 fails to open documents from SharePoint correctly

**Updated 1/13/2016, see Current Status section**


You have Mac Office 2016 installed and want to open documents from SharePoint (2010, 2013 or SharePoint Online) , instead of opening the document in the Office application (like Word or Excel) the web editor is started.

Or if you have SharePoint 2010 or 2013 without Office Web Apps installed then you get an error:

“A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document.”


If the document opens in Office Web Apps you can pick to “Open in Word” or “Open in Excel” which will start the rich client application and allow the document to be edited.

If Office Web Apps is unavailable, you can open the document directly from the rich client application by using the File \ Open menu and then navigating to the document library and selecting the document to open, or you can use the most recently used documents list in the rich client application.

In SharePoint Online you can work around this issue by looking at the preview popup window for the document, then picking the “Open in Word” (or other office app) from the popup menu.


Current Status:

The product group wants to address this issue, a fix for SharePoint 2013 was shipped in the March 2016 update for SharePoint 2013, there is no fix planned for SharePoint 2010, also SharePoint online has a workaround right now (see above)

Comments (4)

  1. SharePoint MAC Woes says:

    Please note that this sentence does not appear to be correct: "If the document opens in Office Web Apps you can pick to "Open in Word" or "Open in Excel" which will start the rich client application and allow the document to be edited."

    Rather, the only way to open documents on the MAC in Office 2016 for MAC appears to be to download the file first, then open.

    We’re looking forward to a fix!

  2. IT Happens says:

    What about SharePoint 2007 Document Libraries? Seems the new Office 2016 won’t load DOCX files from a Workflow link.

  3. ML49448 says:

    In libraries of any significant length, you are unable to open because MS has taken away the ability for us to open a direct link while simultaneously capping the number of document that will be displayed with no paging. This ‘force you to browse’ paradigm
    is terrible.

  4. Andres Irazabal says:

    I was able to open Sharepoint 2013 files in Office 2016 in a Mac by opening the file from the Office App. Excel was easier, since my SharePoint 2013 is set up with Excel Services, so after viewing the file in the browser I can click Open in Excel and then I can see and edit the file in Excel. The only remaining thing would be to click the file or the Open option in the SharePoint 2013 document menu and see it open directly in the Office application instead of downloading it.

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