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SharePoint – Open with Windows Explorer – problems

February 6, 2012

It is quite common that users encounter problems when trying to open SharePoint Document Libraries with Windows Explorer.

Some of the most common error messages are the following:

Your client does not support opening this list with windows explorer.

Internet Explorer could not open http://ServerName as a web folder.
Would you like to see its default view instead?

Documents in this folder are not available. The folder may have been moved or deleted, or network problems may be preventing a connection to the server

Access Denied

The web folder address Internet Explorer was given is too long. Please use a shorter address

To troubleshoot these issues, here is a sort checklist. With this we have been able to resolve the Explorer View issues so far.

1. Browser type

Explorer view requires 32bit Internet Explorer 7,8,9. It does not work with 64bit Internet explorer or with other types of browsers.

2. WebClient Service

The WebClient service must be started on the client computer. Type services.msc into the Start Menu/Run window and ensure that the WebClient service is Started. If the service is started, restart it as sometimes it hangs and does not run even if it is indicated as “Started”.

3. Browser security

Add the url of the SharePoint site to the Local Intranet sites (or Trusted sites) of the browser.

4. Web application root site

Make sure that a root site exists for the Web Application. If the document libraries are located in a Site Collection which is not the root Site Collection of the Web Application (ie. http://server/sites/mysite/mydoclib) then the Explorer view may not work (details here)

5. WebDav Publishing

SharePoint has it’s own WebDav service which is used by Explorer view. This service interferes with the IIS WebDav Publishing service. The solution is to remove the IIS WebDav completely:

1. Open Server Manager
2. On the left side of the panel click on Roles
3. Scroll down to the “Role Services” section, and click on “Remove Role Services”
4. Under “web server” uncheck the box next to “WebDav Publishing”
5. Choose Next, then choose Remove
6. A reboot will be required

6. Open Ports

The following ports should be opened between the client and the SharePoint server : 137,138,139, 445
You can check if the ports are open using telnet, as below:

telnet mysharepointserver.com 137

If telnet is not available, you can turn it on this way:
1. Start
2. Control Panel
3. Programs And Features
4. Turn Windows features on or off
5. Check Telnet Client
6. Hit OK

7. Permissions

The account BUILTIN\NetworkService must have read and write access to “Temporary Internet Files folder” to successfully complete a drag-and-drop operation.

8. Basic Authentication

Avoid using Basic authentication. Basic authentication will work fine with WebDAV but has reported issues with FPRPC. If used, force web browser to use WebDAV

9. Server features

When using a Windows server computer as a client, ensure that:

– Desktop experience feature is installed on all servers
– Server: File and Printer sharing is installed on all servers.

x. Other

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892211
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888123
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888123
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832161
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/329919

If none of these help, try using Fiddler to check network traffic why opening the library in windows explorer. This may give you some clues if the error is on client or server side.

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2 Comments
  1. Excellent recopilation. I’ll translate some of this tips in my personal blog.
    Thanks for your work.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Librerías y listas de documentos desde el explorador de Windows | Sys7's Blog

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