SharePoint 2013 Hosting :: Making Use of the “Open in Explorer” Link on SharePoint 2013

SharePoint2013HostingNews.com :: A customer lately had the ask for to include the “Open in Explorer” link to get a specific doc library on the SharePoint 2013 site. It is easy to understand, thinking about that discovering the Open in Explorer website link demands understanding from the ribbon and realizing where to search for it; this website will be targeted at customers with minimum SharePoint understanding.

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Browser Concerns

Microsoft says that IE 7+ is necessary to utilize Open in Explorer. However, Microsoft also claims that only IE 8+ is supported for SharePoint Online. Your mileage may differ. I examined it in Chrome, which did not perform. I’ve read rumors that it really works in Firefox, but that seems unlikely to me, thinking about it’s tapping into Windows performance.

Troubleshooting Open in Explorer Features

The performance seems to be a little delicate and also the conditions have to be excellent for it to operate.

Notice #1: “Open with Explorer” may not work if you have the 64-bit version World wide web Explorer and/or the 64-bit model of Microsoft Workplace installed.

Notice #2: There are several concerns with IE 10 and this performance; I got it dealing with IE10 (32-bit) with the “keep me signed in” trick – see under to find out more.

Typical mistake messages:

“Your customer will not support opening this list with Windows Explorer.”
“We’re getting a problem opening this place in File Explorer. Add this web page in your Trusted Web sites checklist and check out once more.”

Options:

  • Ensure that the WebClient service is started (this is preconfigured on modern versions of Windows)
  • Ensure that you are using a supported browser (IE 8+)
  • Add “https://*.sharepoint.com” to Local intranet site or trusted zones in your IE settings
  • Sign in to the SharePoint Online site by using your Office 365 credentials, and make sure that you click to select the Keep me signed in check box.

Creating the hyperlink

The Open in Explorer link inside the ribbon is nothing more than JavaScript. We can quite very easily build our very own. The fundamental format is as follows, for the URL https://example.sharepoint.com/template/Shared Documents/:

The NavigateHttpFolder operate resides in the main.js file and it is typically referred to as automatically. It absolutely was a non-issue on SharePoint Online with (mainly) default branding. Note that you need a \u002f for a backslash, as well as a \u0020 for a area. In my instance further on, I’ve created the hyperlink relative – it really works each ways.

Producing the link dynamic

The point is, the cilent wanted a website link that could be employed over a web site template for different projects. Each project has its very own Shared Documents library, which I would like to hyperlink to while not having to alter URL by hand. This is when I started to make it just a little bit prettier:

I knew which the customer would never have more than one degree of undertaking web sites, i.e. a root website with fundamental venture web sites. So, I grabbed the present URL, split it into an array depending on exactly where the forward slashes are and after that just grabbed the site info, i.e. “template” from my earlier illustration.

I used the CurrentSiteURL variable to construct the URL for your doc library. It produced feeling to make it relative, in the event the base URL ever changes. I set the link textual content into the variable LinkText, only to make it look good when developing the actual HTML website link. It would also enable for any possible dynamic hyperlink text.

Website link placement/usage

The customer also desired this Open in Explorer link inside the fast launch navigation. Once i attempted this on SharePoint Online/SharePoint 2013, I got a nice error:

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It turns out that there’s new security in the newer versions of SharePoint and you can’t add JavaScript to the menu anymore. At least, not without using real code, features and stuff that was beyond the scope of this project.

So I did the following:

  • Put the entire script into OpenInExplorer.js in the Style Library, including the HTML
  • Place a content editor webpart (CEWP) on the page and call the JavaScript via the webpart.
  • Clean up the webpart settings a bit, i.e. Title = “Open in Explorer”, no visible Chrome, etc.
  • Export the webpart and then import it via the webpart gallery so that the client can reuse it as often as they want.

Full code in OpenInExplorer.js