can't open the workbook in the browser"

Accessing and editing your workbooks online shouldn’t be an issue. However, it seemingly is for some users, as they are unable to open workbooks from Microsoft Excel or SharePoint.

They’re met with the We’re sorry we can’t open the workbook in the browser error and can’t proceed. We have some tips on how to solve this.

Workbook won’t open in the browser

  1. Try with Edge, IE, or UR Browser
  2. Turn on Sharing
  3. Edit a copy instead of the original file

Solution 1 – Try with Edge, IE, or UR Browser

Let’s start by migrating to Edge or IE. Yes, we know that those might not be browsers of your choice but they work the best with other web-based Microsoft applications. You can, additionally, install certain IE-specific add-ons which might allow you unprecedented access to your workbook, be it SharePoint or Excell.

Alternatively, you can give UR Browser a try. This Chromium-based browser checks all the boxes when it comes to reliability and safety. Allegedly, Microsoft limits access to their web-based applications on the competing browsers.

ur browser image

So, how about an underdog browser that’s privacy-oriented and feature-rich. It won’t cost you anything but some time to install it and give it a try.

Editor's recommendation
ur browser
  • Fast page loading
  • VPN-level privacy
  • Enhanced security
  • Built-in virus scanner

If you’re, on the other hand, unable to access a workbook in the said environment, continue with the steps below.

Solution 2 – Turn on Sharing

Usually, there are some parts of the file which are not supported for sharing, but you should still be able to show the main part of the file in the web-based application. However, what you need to do is enable sharing for the said file before we can access it online. This option is disabled by default, and you should enable it in order for an Excel sheet or SharePoint file to be accessible online.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the Review tab.
  2. Choose the Share Workbook tool.
  3. Check the “Allow Changes” box and confirm changes.

Solution 3 – Edit a copy instead of the original file

Finally, you can try editing the file copy instead of the original file. That allowed some users to access the file online, even though it still might not work in the likes of Chrome or Firefox, so have that in mind. You can choose to edit the copy which should help.

Once the error appears, just click Edit a copy and you can merge everything locally. Just don’t forget to use a different name or the original file will be replaced upon saving, otherwise.

With that said, we can conclude this article. In case you have any questions or alternative workarounds, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.