Fix “View in File Explorer” missing in SharePoint Online Issue

Problem: The “View in File Explorer” option is missing in SharePoint Online.

How to enable view in File Explorer in SharePoint Online?

The Explorer View or View in File Explore feature in SharePoint Online provides an easy Windows File Explorer-like interface to manage files in your SharePoint document libraries. If you miss the View in File Explorer button when you open a library on a SharePoint Online site, don’t worry! There’s an easy fix. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to fix the View in File Explorer option, so you can use it to quickly access/copy/paste your files and folders in SharePoint Online.

view in file explorer missing in sharepoint online

Understanding the SharePoint File Explorer View

The SharePoint File Explorer view allows users to access SharePoint libraries and view SharePoint files as if they were folders on their local machine. This view is particularly useful for bulk operations, such as moving or copying multiple files and folders. However, this functionality relies on WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning), and its availability can be affected by several factors.

Troubleshooting Steps

Microsoft recommends the OneDrive sync tool that offers the Files On-Demand feature, enabling you to reach all your SharePoint files without consuming local storage space. While the recommended way to efficiently manage files in SharePoint Online is using the OneDrive sync client, You may still need the “View in File Explorer” in SharePoint Online modern document libraries in some cases. Numerous factors can cause this issue, but we’ll walk you through some troubleshooting steps to help get that link back.

Follow these troubleshooting steps to address typical problems encountered with the Open with File Explorer command.

1. Browsers Supported:

View in File Explorer feature still uses ActiveX technology. So, it works with Internet Explorer (IE 32-bit version) and Microsoft Edge Browser (build 93+) but is not supported in browsers like Safari on macOS, Mozilla Firefox, etc. For Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, Make sure you have implemented the steps: Enable View in File Explorer in Microsoft Edge

2. Ensure WebClient Service is Running

The WebClient service in Windows allows the File Explorer to connect with online services like SharePoint via WebDAV. Ensure the WebClient service is running.

  1. Press Win + R, type services.msc, and press Enter.
  2. Find the WebClient service in the list.
  3. If it’s not running, right-click it and select Start. To have it start automatically with Windows, right-click, select Properties, set the Startup type to Automatic, and then start the service.

3. Check View in File Explorer is enabled on your Tenant:

When the SharePoint view in File Explorer is missing, it can hinder your workflow significantly, as many users rely on the File Explorer interface for easy navigation and file management within SharePoint libraries. By default, it’s not enabled in the Modern document library interface. In addition, There are chances you may have this feature disabled at the tenant level. Use this SharePoint Online Management Shell PowerShell script to check its enabled. If not, you can enable it.

#Admin Center URL
$AdminCenterURL = "https://crescent-admin.sharepoint.com"

#Connect to SharePoint Online
Connect-SPOService -Url $AdminCenterURL

#Check the current status of View in Explorer Feature
Get-SPOTenant | Select ViewInFileExplorerEnabled

If it’s not enabled, You can enable it in the SharePoint Online tenant configuration:

#Enable Explorer View in SharePoint Online
Set-SPOTenant -ViewInFileExplorerEnabled $true

After activating the tenant setting, the View in File Explorer menu option could take as long as 15 minutes to become visible within the SharePoint interface.

Also, Enable persistent cookies for View with Explorer.

#Enable Persistent Cookies For Explorer View
Set-SPOTenant -UsePersistentCookiesForExplorerView $true

If you want to disable view in File Explorer capability in SharePoint Online, use the following:

#Disable View in File Explorer
Set-SPOTenant -ViewInFileExplorerEnabled $False

Apart from the above, You can also try:

  • Ensure that Windows instances are connected to a Microsoft Active Directory domain and that Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise instances are registered for device management.
  • You can also try adding SharePoint Site to Trusted Sites in the web browser.

Conclusion

If the SharePoint view in File Explorer is missing, it’s often due to browser compatibility, service configuration, or tenant level settings. By systematically checking these areas – starting with the browser and moving through service settings, site trust levels, and network configurations – you can usually resolve the problem. You can also use the OneDrive sycn feature by navigating to the library and clicking the Sync button on the toolbar.

You can Open File Explorer and map SharePoint Online libraries to a network drive as an alternate solution: How to Map a SharePoint Online Document Library to a Network Drive?

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

3 thoughts on “Fix “View in File Explorer” missing in SharePoint Online Issue

  • when I execute this command Set-SPOTenant -ViewInFileExplorerEnabled $true, i get the following error
    Set-SPOTenant : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name ‘ViewInFileExplorerEnabled’.

    And when I check with GET-SPOTENANT, it shows the result of ViewInFileExplorerEnabled as Blank

    Is there a way around this?
    We do not want to enable Sync for some of the libraries because of the pre-known issues with huge library sync and users with slow or intermittent internet issues

    Reply
    • Same issue on my end

      Reply
    • Update your SharePoint Online PowerShell module: Update-module microsoft.online.sharepoint.powershell

      Reply

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