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Control whether PDFs open in Word Web App or the default PDF reader

Use Windows PowerShell commands to adjust settings so that PDFs open in the program you want.

When users open a PDF file from a SharePoint document library that uses Office Web Apps Server, the default behavior is to open the PDF in Word Web App. If this isn’t the behavior you want, or if your users are having trouble opening PDFs on smartphones, you can use Windows PowerShell commands to make PDFs open in your default PDF reader instead. Here's how:

Step 1: Open an elevated SharePoint 2013 Management Shell

On the computer running SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Foundation 2013, open an elevated SharePoint 2013 Management Shell. Choose the procedure that corresponds to your server operating system:

  • In Windows Server 2008 R2:
  1. On the Start menu, select All Programs.

  2. Select Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products.

  3. Choose (right-click) SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to display the shortcut menu.

  4. From the shortcut menu, choose Run as administrator.

In Windows Server 2012:

  1. Swipe in from the edge of the screen to show the charms and then choose Search to see all the applications that are installed on the computer.

  2. Choose (right-click) SharePoint 2013 Management Shell to display the app bar.

  3. In the app bar, select Run as administrator.

Step 2: Run the Windows Powershell Command

At the Windows PowerShell prompt, enter one of the following commands, based on what you want to do:

    • To adjust the binding so that smartphones won’t try to view PDFs in Word Web App (but other devices will continue to), enter the following command and then press Enter:

      Get-SPWopiBinding -Action "MobileView" -Application "WordPDF" | Remove-SPWopiBinding -Confirm:$false

    • To remove the binding altogether so that PDFs open in the default PDF viewer on all devices, use the following:

      Get-SPWOPIBinding –Application "WordPDF" | Remove-SPWOPIBinding -Confirm:$false

Going back

If you change your mind and later want to have PDFs open in Word Web App again, follow the same procedure as above, but in Step 2, run these two commands:

Get-SPWOPIBinding –Application "WordPDF" | Remove-SPWOPIBinding -Confirm:$false

New-SPWOPIBinding –ServerName "" –Application "WordPDF" -AllowHTTP

Be sure to use your own Office Web Apps server name instead of “”


Use Windows PowerShell to administer SharePoint 2013