SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found.

Tech Trek – 2014.02.13

Recently, our remote users have been frequently getting the following issue when opening Microsoft Office documents within SharePoint.

In Word Web App,
“To open this document, your computer must be running a supported version of Microsoft Word and a browser that supports opening files directly from the Office Web Apps.”

In Excel Web App,
“To open this workbook, your computer must have a version of Microsoft Excel installed and your Web browser must support opening files directly from Excel in the browser.”


I’ve outlined how to troubleshoot the issue so that hopefully you wouldn’t get crazy in attempting to decipher the misleading message and find out what happened to the user’s PC.

Note, we have the following basic assumptions —

  • Microsoft Office was installed in the first place.
  • Internet Explorer 7 (32-bit) or higher is used. Non-IE browsers will open files locally by default and results into the error message below.

First, try opening the affected file using Edit in Microsoft Word (or Excel) from the list item menu. If you get the following message, then, it confirms that this isn’t just an Office Web Apps issue.

SharePoint error

Second, try opening another document with a different file format, e.g. PDF document, or ZIP file. Then, open Microsoft Word/Excel application and load the document by accessing the site URL directly.

If you were able to succesfully open files from SharePoint, proceed to the steps below.

  • Open Tools … Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer
  • Make sure that the following SharePoint add-ons are enabled especially SharePoint OpenDocuments class.

Most of the time, this will resolve the issue. Close and re-open the browser window to load these add-ons properly, then, try opening Office documents again.

Third, open Office Upload Center via Taskbar icons, or from Microsoft Office –> Office Tools in the Start Menu. Check if there are Pending or Cached Files that have failed recently from the list. Follow the steps below to delete cached files:

  • Click Settings and select Delete cached files button. Try to re-open the document to see if it helps. I’ve found most of the time this doesn’t properly delete files in the hidden folder.

Lastly, the following steps should be performed by technical personnel since it involves a couple of steps.

  • Exit SharePoint Workspace from Taskbar icons.
  • Start Task Manager and click End Process for the following: MSOSYNC.exe, MSOUC.exe, or GROOVE.exe (if SP Workspace is still available).
  • Open Windows Explorer and proceed to Users folder in your local hard drive. Make sure that hidden files is selected under View tab of Folder and search options.
  • Expand to the following location —
    \Users\<userId>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\<Office version>\OfficeFileCache
  • Delete the entire folder.
    Close any Microsoft Office applications if you’re unable to delete the folder successfully.

By this point, most of the issue should be resolved. You may also try performing a Microsoft Office Repair operation from Programs in Control Panel.

A workaround that you may instruct end-users is to open files via Open with Explorer under Library ribbon menu, or use right-click then select open in a new window to see if Office files will open.

2 thoughts on “SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found.

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