Disable “Open in Windows Explorer” on SharePoint

SharePoint is designed to be a resource for people to easily access the information they need. End users are given many options on how to access the info on SharePoint. One powerful way is to use the tool “Open in Windows Explorer”. This is found under Actions in the form/document library you are using. The big advantage of using “Open in Windows Explorer” is it enables you to easily view, copy, delete documents in an environment most are familiar with. This can be a big advantage.

Recently I ran into a possible drawback to “Open in Windows Explorer”. Here was my issue:

I created a form library that will be used for Performance Appraisals. The forms are created in InfoPath. Mangers connect to the form library, click New, fill out the Performance Appraisal on the employee. I have created a submit button on the form that automatically saves the form to the form library and saves it using the “employee name” and “review date” fields in the form. All is well up to this point.

The real issue that I ran into was, Performance Appraisals are very confidential. Management made the decision that the only person that could see the Performance Appraisal in the form library was the person who created it. That sounded easy enough, I would remove the All Documents view and create a single view that would only display documents created by [Me]. I also changed rights on the form library so nobody could create new views after all, if they could create a view, they could create one that could show all fields in the form library.

Unfortunately, when you select “Open in Windows Explorer” you can see all documents in the form library. The only way I have found around this issue is to Remove the “Open in Windows Explorer” options under Actions. There is one huge drawback with this. When you remove “Open in Windows” is must be at the Site Collection level. You lose it for all of your sites. On the positive side, you can set it up so a Site Owner can still see “Open in Windows Explorer”.

Here are the steps to disable “Open in Windows Explorer” for everyone except site Owners.

  • On your SharePoint server go to the following folder and make a copy of the DefaultTemplates.ascx file. \Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES
  • Rename the copy of DefaultTemplates.ascx to CustomDefalutTemplates.ascx
  • Open CustomDefaultTemplates.ascx in Notepad and change the following line:
  • ID=”OpenInExplorer” Change PermissionString=”UseClientIntegration” to PermissionString=”MangeWeb”
  • Save the file
  • Reset IIS

The original instructions on how to perform this task was found at:  SharePoint UK

8 comments for “Disable “Open in Windows Explorer” on SharePoint

  1. April 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Thx, it saved me time 😀 Greetings JJR

  2. Arnel
    August 31, 2011 at 9:04 am

    This is awesome! Thanks for posting. I had the same situation with a client and this is definitely a viable solution.


  3. January 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I have a client and they want to upload multiple documents to the library, only catch is they have to do it 1 document at a time without the Explorer View option.

    • January 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      You’re correct this is an issue and can be a big deal for some people. Internally, our way around the issue is the Administrator still has Explorer View rights. If an entire folder many files need to be uploaded at once, the Administrator does it. Staff resistance has been minimal with this procedure.

  4. Danish
    December 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    you can upload multiple file at once from sharepoint interface, when u click on upload document in the next window there is an option to upload multiple files.

    • morf
      August 15, 2014 at 12:57 am

      But is there a way to upload multiple .zip files in the sharepoint interface? I can’t see the zip files in the multiple upload mode but we don’t want to use the explorer mode either.

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