I have a Moto E. I have an Outlook mail account that has some MS Excel files I uploaded from my computer to OneDrive. If I log in to my Outlook account (using the Chrome App) and go to OneDrive in my Outlook account, I can see my documents listed. I can open one of my Excel documents. But, when I try to open another one, I get an error:

"We can't open the workbook because it contains features that we can't show in the browser."

There is also an Download button below the message. When I click on that button, it just reopens the same error page.

I really don't know why one file opens and one doesn't. They were both created with MS Office 2007 versions of Excel on a computer. They open fine on a computer.

Anyone have any ideas?

Note: I am only using the Chrome app. I am not using the Outlook app or the OneDrive app.

I only want to open/view the file.

I realize that there is a lot going on here. There are a lot of layers/systems working: Android, the Chrome app, the Outlook website, OneDrive, Excel...

One thing I have tried to do with my new smartphone is to NOT load it up with things. I thought the most efficient thing to do in this case was to use the Chrome app to access the Interest where I could check my Outlook account through the website. But, I also realize in the short time I have had my phone that there are times when getting/installing an app is the best way to go.

2 Answers 2


The issue is with Chrome not working properly with some web apps, especially MS ones. Basically Chrome is trying to load a OneDrive app, which is also trying to load an Excel app, all of this on a mobile device using nothing but JavaScript.

The solution I use is to open Office documents such as Word and Excel in Google Docs. Google Docs is a free download for Android devices and is able to open most common Office formats.

I would also suggest downloading the OneDrive app as this will allow you to open files stored in your OneDrive from other Android applications directly without having to download them locally first.

If you're having problems downloading Excel files from within Chrome, it's likely because the wrong default program is selected for that file type. Since this is being done in the Chrome app, you need to go into the app settings screen on your Android device, find Chrome and choose the option to restore or remove default associations. Once you do this, the next time you try to download an Excel file from within Chrome, you should see a dialog box asking you which program you want to open this file with.

  • Thanks for the reply, Andrew. I am going to try the OneDrive app first. I was hoping to just access the file through my Outlook account using OneDrive. I was hoping I didn't have to download it and then use another app to access the file. I also have MS Word files in my One Drive account. I cannot find the settings on my phone for the Chrome app to select the program to open certain file types. I have seen such windows on a computer.
    – Junco
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 14:55
  • In Android only the running program can decide which external app to use when launching a file type. There's no way to change this outside of the program (unless you're rooted and want to edit some Linux files).
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:35
  • Instead, when a program interacts with a file type it doesn't support for the first time, it prompts the user to select an application to use. Once made default the only way to change it is to go into the originating app's settings (from Android-Settings-Apps) and choose the option to rest defaults. This will let you choose a new program to use the next time that app encounters an unsupported file type.
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:35
  • Thanks for the info. I am still new to my smartphone. Apparently, I didn't have any app to open an Excel file which is why I didn't get the prompt you mentioned. I did try the OneDrive app. But, apparently I still need another app for the Excel file. Good thing this is not a pressing issue for me.
    – Junco
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 18:42

I found an easier solution than going through my Outlook mail account to One Drive. I tried the MS Excel app for Android. You can access a One Drive account through it by signing in to your Outlook account. So, if I need to check email, I will go to that website. If I need to access One Drive, I will use the app.

I really don't like some app versions of various websites. I have no problems using the Yahoo! email web page through my phone. I like it better than the app. And, I can use the Outlook website just fine. I don't see a need for the app. I guess it is personal preference on stuff like this.

Thanks for all the replies.

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