I ran across the error “your client does not support opening this list with windows explorer” when helping a client with his Sharepoint site this morning on Windows 7. The idea is to be able to browse your Sharepoint files from Office 365 on your local computer. All the usual “fixes” didn’t work, such as adding them as trusted sites, resetting the browser, disabling protected mode, standing on your head with one hand on your nose and sprinkling fairy dust, etc.
Then I got to thinking. Not that long ago Microsoft forced out an update to Internet Explorer while we were sleeping. Whether you liked it or not, you woke up with IE10. So I’m wondering to myself…is it possible that the reason I’m getting the “your client does not support opening this list with windows explorer” in Sharepoint because Microsoft broke something else? Nahhh.. Say it ain’t so.
Well, not trusting that Microsoft would get IE10 right, I uninstalled it. I rebooted the machine, restarted IE (not 64 bit, but 32 bit. 64 bit IE has issues with Sharepoint and pretty much everything else) which proudly proclaimed that I’d “upgraded” to IE9 and reconnected to his Sharepoint service. Low and behold, wouldn’t you know it, the “your client does not support opening this list with windows explorer” error was gone. Windows Explorer opened within seconds, and all was well in Sharepoint land once more.
Steps to troubleshoot the error
Now, since this is client dependent, I’ll itemize the rest of the steps that you can take here to troubleshoot the annoying “your client does not support opening this list with windows explorer” error.
1) Ensure that you are running 32 bit Internet Explorer 9 and that all your updates are done otherwise. To check, click on the gear in the top right corner of IE and click “About Internet Explorer”. If it doesn’t say 64 bit in there, you’re good
2) Ensure that Protected Mode has been disabled. This is an ugly work around and shouldn’t be required, but we’ve found it is for Sharepoint. Click on the gear, Internet Options and go to the Security tab. Make sure the Internet zone is highlighted and then uncheck the box that says Enable Protected Mode (requires restarting Internet Explorer). Click Apply.
3) Add your Sharepoint website address to the Trusted Sites. Click on the gear, Internet Options and go to the Security tab. Click Trusted Sites and then click the Sites button. Add your site address and click Apply.
4) Make sure the WebClient service is running. In Windows 7, the chances are good that it already is. However, on the OFF chance that it isn’t, hold down the Windows key (bottom left corner of your keyboard) and press R. A run dialogue box will come up. Type in services.msc and click OK.
When the Services snap-in shows up, scroll down to WebClient. Make sure that it’s enabled (set to either Manual or Automatic and that it’s running. If it just so happens not to be, highlight it by clicking on it and then click Start in the top left corner of the box.
5) Finally, when you log into Sharepoint or Office 365 make sure to check the “Keep me signed in” check box before clicking “Sign in”
So what’s the storal of this mory? None really. Except that Microsoft didn’t fail to disappoint…They broke their own software with their own software.