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Office 2016 seems to frequently lose its file association to Word, Excel, etc

Our environment consists of 64bit Windows 10 machines running the Fall Creators update using Office 365 (Office 2016).   We are also using the OneDrive For Business and and our users sync SharePoint Online document libraries.

Several users are repeatedly losing file associations in Excel 2016 and Word 2016.  Clicking an Excel file will tell the user it has no program to open the file in, etc.

We have found the running the Control Panel 'Quick Repair' corrects the file association.  Sometimes just opening the main program (i.e. Excel 2016, Word 2016) and then closing it again also will resolve the issue.

Sometimes it happens to the same user several times over the course of a few weeks.  We have 250+ users.  We have probably seen about 15-20 reports of this happening.

While the problem can be fixed, it is a bit of an annoyance to those users where it has happened more than once.

Has anyone else heard of this issue with Office 2016 randomly losing its file association?   Any advice?

Thank you!
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snyperj
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snyperj
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2 Solutions
 
Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
Make sure the users are always using a MS browser and not Chrome and/or Firefox.
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McKnifeCommented:
Your 15-20 reports need to be summed up. The details you give are rather confusing - you need problems that you can reproduce so that we can compare to our results and settings. I have a feeling this won't be possible with the current detail level.

We use sharepoint 2016 and Office 2016 on win10 v1703 and 1709 and office file associations are never lost.
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snyperjAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry, what details are 'rather confusing'?
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
You mention:

Clicking an Excel file will tell the user it has no program to open the file in, etc.

This is commonly caused when the user is using Chrome. That might be a good first place to check.

Good luck...
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snyperjAuthor Commented:
Just to clarify, this is occurring in the desktop versions of the apps (Excel 2016, Word 2016, etc)  not the online versions.   The file associations of the desktop apps can be impacted by Google Chrome?

If so, what is it that I would do to alleviate it?   I do know that many of our users do prefer to use Chrome, so I could see where it could be part of the problem... I am just trying to understand how it is a part of the problem and what I would need to tell them to do?

Thanks!
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
There is nothing you can do to alleviate the issue when using Chrome to open excel files. Possibly in the future MS and Google will work together so that is works, but currently, and for at least the last 8 years Chrome has this characteristic. (Not really a problem or bug or issue, it is just the way it is.)

From your description, this occurs when the users click on the file. From one drive they may have the option to open the file in the browser. This will open the file without using the desktop application, and this should also work in Chrome. (Note; if the excel file contains certain macros or macros that the security system determines is a risk, the file will not open in the browser).

Hope that helps...
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
Oops .. Disregard the above comment. That is for a different post.
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McKnifeCommented:
I find the whole description unusable for analysis, but that's just my opinion and shouldn't be taken offensive.
What you could do in any case and what will work, is lock the file type associations using GPOs.
Look at https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/AdminGuide/pdfviewer.html for details on it (in that example: .pdf is locked to acrobat).

Steps:
1 configure a pc to your likings
2 export the associations xml file
3 edit the xml file so that only the office associations remain
4 deploy the xml file
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
Information provided is accurate and correct.
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