Tag Archives: Webdav

‘Open in Windows Explorer’ defaulting to Web Folders instead of WebDav


You set up a new web application with a new load balanced URL. The web application contains one or more site collections but the root site collection, i.e. http://xxx.sharepoint.com/ does not exist. You browse to a document library under http://xxx.sharepoint.com/project1 called ‘Documents’ and try to ‘Open in windows explorer’.

The document library opens but you find that it is not using WebDav but FPFRC (Frontpage RPC). You can tell this by looking at the address of the opened folder, it should show as ‘http://xxx.sharepoint.com/project1/documents’ instead of \\xxx.sharepoint.com\project1\documents.


According to Microsoft’s article, ‘Microsoft SharePoint Services: Understanding and Troubleshooting the SharePoint Explorer View’, this behaviour occurs when the WebClient.exe service fails to connect to the WebDav server. The only way to resolve this is to ensure that there is no problems with connectivity.

Apparently, the WebClient service checks the root URL to determine whether it can connect via WebDav, i.e. \\xxx.sharepoint.com\. If it receives an ‘unable to connect’ message, it assumes that there is no WebDav server.

In a single server scenario, you will not encounter this problem because \\xxx.sharepoint.com\ would point to the file shares on a single server. However, when you have multiple servers behind a load balancer, the load balancer does not know how to map the WebDav request to the pool of web servers (at least in our case).


  1. To troubleshoot this problem, the first thing you need to do is check whether you can browse to the root of the URL, i.e. \\xxx.sharepoint.com\. If you have not configured a root site collection for your web application, chances are it will not work and you will get a message indicating that the webclient was not able to connect.
  2. Create the root site collection ‘/’ using PowerShell / Central Admin.
  3. Go to My Network Places -> Delete the Web Folder for the relevant site(s).
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. Browse to \\xxx.sharepoint.com\ again. The explorer window should open. You can now test further by appending the site name and document library name to the end of the URL, e.g. \\xxx.sharepoint.com\project1\documents
  6. You should now see the files in the SharePoint document library.
  7. Try using the ‘Open in windows explorer’ button again to confirm that the problem has been resolved.


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SharePoint Keeps Prompting for Credentials


SharePoint keeps prompting you for credentials in the following scenarios:

  1. You get prompted for credentials when you access the site in the browser.
  2. You get prompted for credentials when you open a document from SharePoint.
  3. You get prompted for credentials after you open a document from SharePoint and try to “Save As”.


The most likely cause of your problem is that you are using an FQDN for SharePoint (For example, sharepoint.company.com) and your client machine runs Windows 7. By default, Internet Explorer and Webdav assume that this address is on the Internet and as a security measure, does not automatically pass in your credentials.


If your scenario is the same as above, then you will need to do two things.

  1. Add your SharePoint server’s FQDN to your Trusted Sites or Intranet Sites zone.
  2. Modify your registry settings for the WebClient service.

Add your SharePoint server’s FQDN to your Trusted Sites or Intranet Sites zone.

If using Trusted sites, ensure that you do not select “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone”.

  1. Internet Explorer -> Internet Options -> Security -> Trusted Sites -> Sites
  2. Add the URL(s) of your SharePoint server(s).
  3. Click OK
  4. Click Custom Level -> Scroll to the bottom -> User Authentication
  5. Ensure that it is set to Automatic logon with current user name and password

If you are using the Intranet Sites zone, note that you need to manually add the SharePoint server URL under Advanced settings.

  1. Internet Explorer -> Internet Options -> Security -> Local Intranet -> Sites -> Advanced
  2. Add the URL(s) of your SharePoint server(s).
  3. Click OK
  4. Click Custom Level -> Scroll to the bottom -> User Authentication
  5. Ensure that it is set to Automatic logon with current user name and password

Modify your registry settings for the WebClient service.

  1. Open Regedit, Start -> Run -> regedit
  2. Browse to the location: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WebClient\Parameters
  3. Create a new Multi-String Value and call it AuthForwardServerList
  4. Under Value data: Type in the URL of the SharePoint sites, one on each line. You may use wildcards.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Open Services console, Start -> Run -> services.msc
  7. Look for the WebClient service, and click on Restart.



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How to browse user’s Mysite personal site


When cleaning personal sites, it is difficult to see what each user has stored on their site. If you type in the url to the user’s My Content site, SharePoint will redirect you to their profile homepage. This occurs even if you are the farm or site administrator.


You can use webdav to access the contents of each user’s Mysite. Assuming that the url to all your Mysite personal sites is:


  1. Ensure that your computer is able to use Webdav to browse to sharepoint.
  2. Go to Start -> Run
  3. Type in: \\http://my.sharepointsite.com\personal -> Enter
  4. You will be redirected to\\my.sharepointsite.com\DavWWWRoot
  5. Click on the address bar and replace DavWWWRoot with the following:
  6. \\my.sharepointsite.com\personal\<firstname>_<lastname>
  7. You should now see the contents of the user’s mysite.
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Unable to browse large document library in explorer view


You try to open a document library with many files by clicking on ‘Open in windows explorer’ and get the following error message:

\\server\webfolder\folder is not accessible. You might not have permission to
use this network resource.
Contact the administrator of this server to find
out if you have access permissions.

A device attached to the system is
not functioning.


The problem occurs because the size of all the file attributes that are returned by the WebDAV server is much larger than what is expected. By default, this size is limited to 1 MB.

To work around this problem, you need to modify the windows registry on the client computer.

Data Type: DWORD
Default Value: 1,000,000
decimal (1 MB)

Change the default value to a larger number, e.g. 100000000 for 100mb.

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Webdav Filesize Limits


For a proof of concept, users need to be able to upload files that are more than 500 MB. This is part of a plan to use SharePoint to replace redirected folders.


Webdav has an inbuilt size limit of 50 MB. This limit is on the client side and nothing to do with SharePoint configuration.


The limit can be changed by editing the registry key:



Change the DWORD Decimal Value to file size specified in bytes, e.g. 2000000000 for 2GB.


*Note: There is a file size limit on a 32-Bit DWORD.


Performed several tests before and after changing the DWORD value.

Before the change, copying a file to SharePoint would result in a time out even though the file size was within the limit defined in SharePoint configuration. After changing the DWORD value, I was able to upload multiple files ranging from 64 MB – 1.1 GB without any time outs.


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