Can't Edit in Excel Online / Read Only mode

I'm unable to edit a workbook in Excel Online. This document was shared with me, and I have the "Can edit" permission from the document creator.

When I open the document, it opens in Read Only mode, and my only option is to Edit in Excel. There's no option to edit in browser. When I try to edit it online, I get a banner at the top saying "Read-only: This workbook was opened in read-only mode."

What I've tried so far:

  • Document was reshared with me, nothing changed.
  • I've logged out of Office 365, cleared caches and cookies, and restarted browser, nothing changed.

The creator of the document has shared other excel files with me and I can edit those workbooks online no problem. I have been able to edit this workbook online before. Please help me figure out what's going wrong now.


Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your updates. Given your description, your license and OneDrive for Business services should be proper. Normally, Anyone with the link can view and edit link should be able to edited. You mentioned two parts may caused the issue:

1. "The original document is maintained in the desktop app (and not online) on the creator's computer".

2. Your company transitioning to SharePoint.

For point 1, if your Excel desktop app is not the latest version which doesn't have co-authoring feature, when the file owner keeps the file open in his Excel desktop app, you may not be able to edit that file. You could confirm this situation. Make sure the file is not opened in Excel desktop, and then check if you are able to edit with Excel Online. Moreover, does the issue only occur with one specific file? Let her share with you some other files, and then check if you are able to edit them with Office Online.

For point 2, please confirm with your tenant admin or IT, do they want to migrate from SharePoint Online to on-premises SharePoint server? Are some configuration has been configured which will influence users' files? About this part, you could share a file to that user. Let her check if she is able to edit the file with Excel Online. It can let us identify if the issue is tenant level.

Moreover, if it's convenient, contact another user in your tenant, let that user share with you one worksheet, check if you can edit it with Excel Online.

Best regards,


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Question Info

Last updated April 14, 2021 Views 30,167 Applies to: