Office Web Apps 2013 – Rebuild your Farm in a few Easy Steps!

Because there is minimal configuration overhead (from an Office Web Apps perspective) and zero data loss, there is little risk to rebuilding a farm.  These steps can be a legitimate part of an action plan for resolving technical issues with Office Web Apps. 

1. Take farm offline (if there is a load balancer)

2. Collect the current Farm information via Powershell (on WAC Server): 

Get-OfficeWebAppsFarm > c:\MyWACfarm.txt

3. (If multi-server farm) use Powershell (on WAC Servers) to remove each child machine from the farm, then remove the parent machine.  This will delete the farm.


4. Reboot the Office Web Apps server(s).

5. Recreate the farm via Powershell (on WAC Server) using (if appropriate) the parameter values from "MyWACfarm.txt".

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL "" -AllowHttp -EditingEnabled -OpenFromURLEnabled

6. Reunite the children with their parent via Powershell (on WAC Server).  Run this from each child server: 

New-OfficeWebAppsMachine -MachineToJoin <ParentServer>

7. Bring farm back online.

Note: You may want to rebuild the bindings via SharePoint Powershell (on SharePoint Server):

Remove-SPWOPIBinding –All:$true
New-SPWOPIBinding –ServerName “” -AllowHttp

Note: Anything above in Red you need to replace with the correct information from your farm.

Useful Resource:

Configure Office Web Apps for SharePoint 2013

Comments (16)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Chet. Wildcard certificates are not supported with Office Web Apps Server. Please see the following:

    •The FQDN in the SAN field can’t begin with an asterisk (*).

    1. Chris says:

      That is not true, they are supported. That line was removed from the TechNet article.
      Wildcards also work with OOS also.

  2. Chet says:

    Hi Tom,
    is it possible to use a wildcard certificate when publishing externally over https? we have one for our SharePoint 2013 farm eg * and I want to use the same certificate for our office web apps server – eg.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the following blog, I am going help you verify that WAC Server is working via circumventing a WOPI

  4. Boblar says:

    I use wildcard cert with no issues at all!

  5. rbsibrad says:

    Boblar can you share a little more on your certificate configuration, we would like to do the same.

  6. TickedOff says:

    Brilliant. After hours of hunting articles and trying them to no avail, this worked for me. However, Microsoft SharePoint developers and managers have a lot to answer for. SharePoint is so unstable I find I spend more than half my time fixing things that
    should work. This is really really really baaaaddddd!

  7. Wayne Knopp says:

    Boblar – How did you get the wildcard cert to work? Every time I try to setup the farm using * power shell tells me that it was "unable to find the specified certificate".

    This is the command I’m running:

    New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalUrl "" -ExternalUrl "" -EditingEnabled -CertificateName *

    The certificate is installed properly but power shell refuses to see it.

  8. Erwin says:

    Wayne, you need to specify the ‘friendly name’ of the certificate after -certificatename

  9. Matt says:

    I have tried several friendly names and even the first part of my domain name and powershell still refuses to see it!! How hard can this be?? I am trying to install on a 2 node with MS NLB but can’t even create the farm

  10. JohnD says:

    You can manually specify a friendly name on a Wildcard cert by going into its properties via MMC.

  11. Nicholas says:

    the first thing to be done is friendly name specification immediately after the certificate name

  12. Marouane BOUZOUBAA says:

    you can try to use certificate with alternative names. The common name should contain the FDQN and the alternative names all the DNSes. Since, I am using AD CS, I had to put the ceritificate in a GPO and restarted the OWA. then It picked ip.

  13. schuess says:

    Just a follow up to revive this post as it’s second if googling for “Office Web Apps was unable to find the specified certificate.”:
    We use wildcard (* certificate and had to renew it.
    I installed it to “local machine” credential store as PFX, gave it a friendly name (without any special characters to avoid any issue), extracted the Chain-Certs and imported these additionally.
    However, PowerShell (as admin) refused to see the certificate. My user is domain admin.

    My solution was to also import the certificate in my personal certificate store… all of a sudden PowerShell New-OfficeWebAppsFarm could create the Farm…

  14. Taras says:

    Hi Guys,
    I followed the instructions above and rebuilt our OWA farm, and as we only have 1 OWA server the only thing I did was step 5 of this instruction.
    Everything works fine now, in IE(in Google Chrome it doesn’t work at ll), but users are getting this message any for the first time they’re trying to open a document:
    “content was blocked because it was not signed by a valid security certificate”
    Is there anything I’m missing that had to be done?

  15. John says:

    I understand that Wildcard Certs are not supported with OWA, but would it matter if the Application Server was using a Wildcard Cert when the “new-spwopibinding” command is invoked?

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