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Configure Excel Online administrative settings

Summary: Configure administrative settings for Excel workbooks rendered in Excel Online.

There are several settings that you can use to customize Excel Online. These settings help you adjust the resource usage of your Office Online Server farm and enforce some of your organization's governance policies.

In Office Online Server, most of these settings are available as parameters for the New-OfficeWebAppsFarm and Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm Microsoft PowerShell cmdlets, and there is an additional cmdlet (OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer) that configures access to SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) servers. (Note that this is a subset of the settings that were available in Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013.)

Here's what you can do:

Prevent a workbook from loading in Excel Online if data refresh fails

By default, Excel Online doesn't load Excel files if an automatic data refresh operation fails when someone opens the file. This helps prevent users from seeing out-of-date information or possibly information that they should not have access to.

The load fails only in the following conditions:

  • The user has read-only permissions for the file in SharePoint Server.

  • There are data connections in the workbook file that are automatically refreshed when someone opens the workbook.

Syntax: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelAbortOnRefreshOnOpenFail

Default: True


Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelAbortOnRefreshOnOpenFail:$false

Set the Excel Online cache time for volatile functions

You can specify the maximum time, in seconds, that a computed value for a volatile function is cached for automatic recalculations. Valid values are:

  • -1: Calculates once when the workbook loads.

  • 0: Always calculates.

  • 1 to 2073600: Caches 1 second to 24 days.

The value must be an integer from -1 to 2073600.

Syntax: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelAutomaticVolativeFunctionCacheLifetime

Default: 300


Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelAutomaticVolativeFunctionCacheLifetime:500

Set the number of Excel Online data requests per session

You can specify the maximum number of concurrent external data requests allowed in each session. If a session must issue more than this number of requests, additional requests are queued. The scope of this setting is the logical server. The value must be a positive integer.

Syntax: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelConcurrentDataRequestsPerSessionMax

Default: 5


Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelConcurrentDataRequestsPerSessionMax:10

Set the Excel Online workbook calculation mode

You can specify the calculation mode of workbooks rendered in Excel Online. The available values are: File, Manual, Auto, and AutoDataTables (automatic except data tables). Settings other than File override the workbook settings.

Syntax: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelDefaultWorkbookCalcMode

Default: File


Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelDefaultWorkbookCalcMode:Auto

Set the maximum Excel Online image size

You can specify the maximum size, in megabytes, of a chart or image that can be opened by Excel Online. The value must be an integer greater than 0.

Syntax: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelChartAndImagesSizeMax

Default: 1


Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelChartAndImagesSizeMax:5

Configure an Analysis Services (data model) server for Excel Online

You can configure Analysis Services servers to work with Excel Online by using the OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer cmdlets:

  • New-OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer Adds an Analysis Services server location to the Allow List for Excel Calculation Services in Office Online Server for advanced BI functionality.

  • Get-OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer Gets the Analysis Services servers in the Allow List.

  • Remove-OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer Removes a server from the Allow List.

To use this feature, you must also configure each computer in your Office Online Server farm as an Analysis Services administrator.

The New and Remove cmdlets take a parameter of -ServerID, which is the server name of the Analysis Services server that you want to add or remove.


New-OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer -ServerID "SSAS01"
Remove-OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer -ServerID "SSAS01"

The OfficeWebAppsExcelBIServer cmdlets also support common parameters.

Configure Analysis Services EffectiveUserName in Excel Online

EffectiveUserName is a SQL Server Analysis Services connection string property that contains the name of the user who is accessing a report. In Office Online Server, you can use this property in conjunction with Excel Online to pass the identity of the user who is viewing the report to Analysis Services. This allows per-user identity without the need to configure Kerberos constrained delegation.

To enable this option, you need to use the SQL Server 2016 version of SQL Server Management Studio. The actual data source can be in an earlier version of Analysis Services.

To configure this option, you have to do the following:

  • Configure each computer in your Office Online Server farm as an Analysis Services administrator.

  • Use PowerShell to enable EffectiveUserName in Excel Online (described below).

The Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm is used to enable or disable EffectiveUserName in Excel Online.

To enable EffectiveUserName in Excel Online, run the following command:

Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelUseEffectiveUserName:$True

To disable EffectiveUserName in Excel Online, run the following command:

Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -ExcelUseEffectiveUserName:$False

Working with large workbooks

When opening a workbook in Excel Online, there is a time limit of one minute before Excel Online will time out and fail to load the workbook. Occasionally, this time limit may not be enough to load large workbooks. If you run into problems loading large workbooks, you can adjust the timeout value.

To change the timeout value, you must update the settings.xml file on each computer running Office Online Server. (This file is normally located at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Data\FarmState\settings.xml.)

Add the following value to the settings.xml file, where TimeoutValue is the timeout value in milliseconds:

<Setting Name="FBDirectReadTimeoutInMilliseconds" DataType="System.Int32">

Note that a timeout value of 0 will make the timeout indefinite. This is not recommended as it increases the risk of a denial-of-service attack.