How to use the "Open with Explorer" command and how to troubleshoot issues with this option in SharePoint Online

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Article ID: 2629108 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article discusses how to use the Open with Explorer command in SharePoint Online to view, copy, and move files in a library. The article also discusses how to troubleshoot issues that you may experience when you use this command. 

PROCEDURE

When you use the Open with Explorer command, it opens Windows Explorer on your computer. However, Windows Explorer then displays the folder structure on the server computer that hosts the site. You can then work with the files in the folder. For example, you can perform actions by using Windows Explorer that include the following:
  • Drag documents into libraries.
  • Create folders.
  • Move or copy documents in one library to another library within the same site collection or between site collections.
  • Delete multiple documents at one time.

Use "Open with Explorer" in a SharePoint Online document library

In the SharePoint Online document library, click the Library tab, and then in the Connect & Export group in the ribbon, click the Open with Explorer icon.

For more info about how to copy or move library files by using Open with Explorer, go to the following Microsoft website:
Copy or move library files by using Open with Explorer

Troubleshoot "Open with Explorer" error messages

When you browse to a SharePoint Online document library, you may receive intermittent connectivity issues, or you may receive one of the following error messages:
Your client does not support opening this list with Windows Explorer
We're having a problem opening this location in File Explorer. Add this web site to your Trusted Sites list and try again.
We're having a problem opening this location in File Explorer. To open with File Explorer, you’ll need to add this site to your Trusted Sites list and select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you sign in to the SharePoint Online site. For more information, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2629108.

For Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 7 or Windows 8, install the hotfix to resolve this problem

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If you're using Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 7 or Windows 8, a hotfix has been released to resolve this issue. For more info, go to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
2846960 Error when you open a SharePoint Document Library in Windows Explorer or map a network drive to the library after you install Internet Explorer 10
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Authenticate to Office 365

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Make sure that you're authenticated to Office 365. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Sign in to the SharePoint Online site by using your Office 365 credentials, and make sure that you click to select the Keep me signed in check box as seen in the following screen shot:

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    Screen shot of the Office 365 check box to keep me signed in option


    Note If you previously didn’t check this setting and then browse to a SharePoint Online site or the Office 365 portal and you're already signed in, you must first sign out, and then sign in again by using the Keep me signed in check box. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In the Office 365 ribbon, click the drop-down arrow next to your user name.
    2. Click Sign out.
    3. Close all browser windows.
    4. Browse to the Office 365 portal.
    5. Select the Keep me signed in check box, enter your credentials, and then click Sign in (if it’s necessary).

  2. Open a document library in Explorer View.
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Add your SharePoint Online sites to trusted sites

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Make sure that the SharePoint Online URLs have been added to your Trusted sites zone in Internet Explorer. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Depending on your version of Internet Explorer, take one of the following actions:
    • Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet options.
    • Click the gear icon, and then click Internet options.


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    A screen shot of Internet options highlighted under the gear icon

  3. Click the Security tab, click Trusted sites, and then click Sites.

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    A screen shot of the Security tab on the Internet Options page

  4. In the Add this website to the zone box, type the URL for the SharePoint Online site that you want to add to the Trusted sites zone, and then click Add. For example, type https://contoso.sharepoint.com. (Here, the placeholder contoso represents the domain that you use for your organization.) Repeat this step for any additional sites that you want to add to this zone.

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    A screen shot of the Trusted sites page

  5. After you have added each site to the Websites list, click Close, and then click OK.
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Check the status of the WebClient service

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Make sure that the latest Windows updates are applied. If all the latest updates are applied, and the issue persists, make sure that the WebClient service is running. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Follow the appropriate step for your operating system:
    • For Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then press Enter.
    • For Windows 8, click Start, type services.msc, and then press Enter.
    • For Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, click Start, type services.msc, and then press Enter. If the WebClient service isn't present, you must first install the Desktop Experience. For more information about how to install the Desktop Experience, see the following Microsoft website:
      Install Desktop Experience
  2. In the list of services, locate the WebClient service, and then make sure that its status in the Status column is set to Started. If it isn't set to Started, double-click the WebClient service, click Start, and then click OK.

If you've run the Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging (MOSDAL) Support Toolkit, you can determine whether the WebClient services has been running. From the MOSDAL logs, in the System Diagnostics folder, open Tasklist_svc.txt and search for WebClient. If you can't find it, the WebClient services weren't running.

Additionally, you can verify Trusted Sites. From the MOSDAL logs, in Registry folder that's contained in the Internet Explorer folder, search in the Internet Settings ZoneMap registry keys files for the trusted sites.

For more info, see the following Microsoft Knowledge article:
960625 The Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging (MOSDAL) Support Toolkit
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Troubleshoot slower than expected "Open with Explorer" performance on a Windows 8- or Windows Server 2012-based computers

When you browse to a SharePoint Online document library and then click “Open with Explorer”, you may experience an issue in which the enumeration of the files and directories is slower than expected. A hotfix was released to resolve this issue. For more info, go to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
2782826 Slow performance when you connect to a WebDAV shared folder in Windows 8 or Window Server 2012

MORE INFORMATION

For more info about working with the WebClient service, go to the following Knowledge Base articles:
  • 2548470 A WebClient service crashes on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 when you connect a WebDav resource
  • 943280 Prompt for Credentials When Accessing FQDN Sites From a Windows Vista or Windows 7 Computer

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.

Properties

Article ID: 2629108 - Last Review: July 1, 2014 - Revision: 34.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
o365 mosdal4.5 o365a o365e o365p o365m o365022013 kbgraphxlink kbgraphic KB2629108

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