When used with SharePoint 2013 on-premises, Office Web Apps (OWA) provides updated versions of Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App. Users can view and optionally edit Office documents by using a supported web browser on computers and on different mobile devices, such as Windows Phones, iPhones, and iPads. In addition to Office documents OWA can also support PDF view in browser.
After you follow Microsoft instructions to install OWA to facilitate users to view different documents in browser, users might run into issues quite often. Here is the ultimate debugging guide for SharePoint 2013 on-premises Office Web Apps when you have issues.
1. Whenever you have issues on OWA, the first thing to check is if OWA is available. You could use the following URL to verify if OWA is available. If the OWA is available, the result should be similar as the screenshot.
2. Next you will need to verify if SharePoint still connect to OWA servers. You could run the following command from SharePoint WFEs.
Get-SPWOPIBinding -Server "OWASERVER.MYCOMPANY.COM" (If you know the OWA server URL)
Get-SPWOPIZone | Get-SPWOPIBinding (If you do not know the OWA server URL)
The result should be list of file type configured for OWA to support.
3. The third step is to very OWA version. We found different OWA versions may support different type of the files. The easiest way to verify OWA version is to run the following Powershell. You can find the OWA version from the result as highlighted.
Date Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:22:54 GMT
Last-Modified Sun, 24 Nov 2013 12:57:50 GMT
There are two other way to verify OWA build number you might use.
A. If you are end user and do not know how to use Powersell, you can use browser to hit the URL like below in the browser.
Then you can use Fiddler or F12 to check the request header header as described in the article.
B. You can also use server Powershell to verify the OWA version as described here.
4. The forth step is to verify if any file type are suppressed in the OWA. You can run the following Powerhsell. You should find the suppressed file type as the screenshot.
New-SPWOPISuppressionSetting -Extension "XLS" -Action "view"
New-SPWOPISuppressionSetting -Extension "XLSM" -Action "view"
New-SPWOPISuppressionSetting -Extension "XLSX" -Action "view"
5. The fifth step is to verify the web application "Permissive mode in browser file handling" setting. You could refer this article to verify.
6. The sixth step is to verify if site collection feature "Open Documents in Client Applications by Default" enabled. You could refer to Microsoft instruction to enable it from Powershell or UI.
7. The seventh step is to verify the library setting if you have correct setting for "Opening Documents in the Browser".
One note to point out is OWA upgrade or patch process. You have to pull the OWA server and upgrade or patch. After that you need to bind the SharePoint server again! Remember to do this after the upgrade or patch. You could use the steps listed above to verify the OWA after each upgrade or patch.
OWA provides document view/edit inside the browser. After you know the tips and tricks, users can enjoy this function.