SharePoint Online: Open Document Library in File Explorer

Requirement: Open SharePoint Online in File Explorer.

Where is Explorer View in SharePoint Online?

Although SharePoint Online is a web-based application, you can still access your files through File Explorer. In this blog post, we will show you how to open your document library in Explorer view to easily manage your documents and folders. Explorer view in SharePoint Online modern UI is moved under the “Views” section!

How to open SharePoint Online in File Explorer?

SharePoint Online Explorer view provides great flexibility, like Windows Explorer functionality, to manage Files and folders. The majority of the usage is drag and drop! Accessing your SharePoint site this way can be a real-time saver. To open SharePoint Online in File Explorer, do the following:

  1. Open the SharePoint site in Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge/Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the View menu drop down from the top-right area (such as “All Documents”)  >> Select the “View in File Explorer” Menu item.
    explorer view in sharepoint online

This opens the document library in explorer view for SharePoint Online. Once your SharePoint site has been opened in File Explorer, you’ll be able to navigate through your files and folders just as you would any other folder on your computer.

You can also use the familiar File Explorer interface to upload and download files from your SharePoint site. However, remember that some features, such as versioning, check out, Alerts, etc., are only available when using the web-based version of SharePoint. Consequently, it’s often best to use the web interface for tasks requiring those features. But you can still copy, move, and delete files as needed for operations that can be performed just as easily in File Explorer.

Is SharePoint Online explorer view not working? Or greyed out?

Explorer view is available only on the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer and the recent versions of Microsoft Edge! You cannot open explorer view on Safari or Firefox browsers. More here: “View in File Explorer” missing in SharePoint Online?

Now, SharePoint Online modern document libraries also provide drag-and-drop functionalities. E.g.

  • You can do multiple file upload with drag and drop
  • Create folders and drag and drop files to them within the browser itself. (You can’t drag and drop a folder, however!). 
  • You can copy/move files within the SharePoint Online libraries using the Modern document library user interface.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

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