How to Open Shared Word Document in Desktop App: A Step-by-Step Guide

Opening a shared Word document in the desktop app is a handy skill to have, especially when you’re collaborating with others. To get started, you’ll need to have the desktop app installed and be signed in to your Microsoft account. Once you’re set up, opening the shared document is a breeze.

Step by Step Tutorial: Opening a Shared Word Document in Desktop App

Before jumping into the steps, remember that this process will allow you to view and edit a shared Word document using the full capabilities of the desktop app instead of the limited features available in the online version.

Step 1: Open the Word app

Open Microsoft Word on your desktop.

When you open the Word app, you’ll be greeted with a home screen showing your recent documents and the option to open other files.

Step 2: Go to ‘Open’

Click on the ‘Open’ option on the left-hand side menu.

The ‘Open’ tab will give you access to documents saved on your computer and documents shared with you.

Step 3: Click on ‘Shared with Me’

Select the ‘Shared with Me’ option.

This will bring up a list of documents that others have shared with you through OneDrive or SharePoint.

Step 4: Find the document

Locate the shared Word document you want to open.

You may need to scroll through the list or use the search bar to find the specific document.

Step 5: Open the document

Click on the document to open it in the desktop app.

The document will now open in Word, and you can start editing with all the features of the desktop app at your disposal.

After completing these steps, you’ll be able to work on the shared document just as you would with any other Word file. The changes you make will be automatically saved and updated for all users with access to the document.

Tips for Opening a Shared Word Document in Desktop App

  • Ensure you’re signed in to the correct Microsoft account associated with the shared document.
  • Check your internet connection, as you’ll need it to access the shared document list.
  • If the document doesn’t open in the desktop app by default, look for the option ‘Open in Desktop App’ after clicking on the document.
  • Familiarize yourself with the collaboration features in Word, such as commenting and tracking changes.
  • Always communicate with your team to avoid editing conflicts in the shared document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find the shared document?

Make sure you’re signed into the correct account, and check if the document owner has given you the appropriate permissions.

Can I edit the shared document in the desktop app?

Yes, you can edit the document just like any other Word file, and your changes will sync with the online version.

What if the changes I make aren’t updating for others?

Check your internet connection and ensure that the document is being saved. You may also need to refresh the document for others to see your changes.

Can I save a copy of the shared document to my computer?

Yes, you can save a copy by going to ‘File’ > ‘Save As’ and choosing a location on your computer.

What if I don’t have the desktop app?

You can still view and edit the document using the Word online version, though with limited functionality compared to the desktop app.


  1. Open the Word app
  2. Go to ‘Open’
  3. Click on ‘Shared with Me’
  4. Find the document
  5. Open the document


Opening a shared Word document in the desktop app isn’t rocket science, but it does require a bit of know-how. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to seamlessly access and collaborate on shared documents with the full range of features offered by Microsoft Word. It’s crucial to ensure you’re logged into the right account and have a stable internet connection to avoid any hiccups during the process. With the ability to work on documents in real-time and utilize the desktop app’s advanced features, your productivity and collaboration efforts are bound to see significant improvements. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how easy and efficient it can be to open a shared Word document in the desktop app.

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