Can't open SharePoint documents in a local client (rich client) from Chrome when NPAPI plug-in is missing


When you try to open a file from an on-premises installation of Microsoft SharePoint or from SharePoint Online, the browser defaults to either downloading a local copy or trying to open the file in the browser. This issue occurs regardless of your library settings.

Additionally, many other SharePoint integration features don't work. These include the following:

  • The ability to open documents in a rich client app when a document library link is selected
  • Lync Presence information
  • The ability to export to Excel from a document library or a SharePoint list
  • The Edit Library button and functionality
  • The **New Quick Step **option
  • The Create a workflow in SharePoint Designer option under Workflow Settings
  • The Open with Access and Open with Project options
  • The Edit Lists feature


This problem occurs when Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) support is disabled.


The following workaround lets you temporarily enable NPAPI plug-ins:

  1. Start the Chrome browser, and then enter the following path into the Address bar:


  2. Find the Enable NPAPI plug-in, and then enable it.

  3. At the bottom of the page, select relaunch now.

  4. Check to see whether you have your old functionality back.

Note This workaround will not work after the end of September 2015, per the following Google blog post:

The final countdown for NPAPI

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.

Alternatively, you can open the file in the browser by using Office Web Apps, and then click the button from the web editor to open in a rich client application. For example, click Edit in Word in this situation.

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More Information

The fix for this issue has been rolled out as of August 11, 2015, and it should be in build 15.0.4745.1000 and later.

Concerning Lync presence information on a SharePoint page, Chrome is deprecating the plug-in technology that made this feature work. We are currently working on a replacement. In the meantime, if you must access presence information in SharePoint, use Internet Explorer.  

Third-party information disclaimer

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.

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