Try searching the internet for “SharePoint Open With Explorer Issues” and you will be busy for hours searching through all of the different forums, blogs, etc. Some of the most common recurring issues I found in my searching:

  • No “Root” site collection
  • Web Client service not started/not configured correctly on the client PC
  • Hot fixes need to be applied
  • The SharePoint site URL’s are not added to Trusted Sites/Local Intranet Zone

There are many more out there, but these were the most common I found..Now on to this SharePoint troubleshooting tale:

The client just went through a SharePoint 2010 to 2013 upgrade and Explorer View was working for some site collections and not others. This was reproducible on a Windows 7 Client with IE 10 or IE 11. We also did a test on Windows 10 and everything seemed to work there (Web Client must act different in the new OS). The open with explorer would work for 1-2 times after restarting the Web Client service. Then it would start prompting to add the site to Trusted Sites. Then after restarting Web Client this process would start all over again.

After some investigating I noticed something interesting in the Fiddler Traces..

Working Site Collection:

PROPFIND http://sitesp13ent01.ajb.loc/
207 MULTI-STATUS (text/xml)

PROPFIND http://sitesp13ent01.ajb.loc/sites
207 MULTI-STATUS (text/xml)

Non-Working Site Collection (It will give the error “We’re having a problem opening this location in File Explorer. Add this web site to your Trusted Sites list and try again”):

clip_image001
PROPFIND http://sitesp13ent01.ajb.loc/
207 MULTI-STATUS (text/xml)

PROPFIND http://sitesp13ent01.ajb.loc/depts
404 NOT FOUND ()

PROPFIND http://sitesp13ent01.ajb.loc/depts/it/Shared%20Documents
207 MULTI-STATUS (text/xml)

Notice anything weird?? There is a 404 Not Found for the /depts path. Let’s take a look at SharePoint Central Admin for the managed paths config for this web app:

image

Any site collection under the /sites/ wildcard managed path was working correctly and any of the depts site collections were not. WebDav is smart enough to honor wildcard managed paths, but does not work with “nested” explicit inclusions as it tries to hit each level of the URL..

Fixing the issue:

  1. Option A – Create an explicit managed path at depts and create site collection at depts URL
  2. Option B
    • Add depts as managed path (wildcard inclusion)
    • Deleted all depts/* explicit inclusions
    • If there is a site collection at depts this will need to be deleted
    • Note: Only tested 1 level deep (For example: depts/it). Did not test a scenario where there is more than 1 level (For example: depts/it/projects)

-AJB