SharePoint 2010 Opens All Documents in Read-Only Mode

Updates. The problem has been fixed. See resolution

Problem Description

Every user running Windows 7/Office 2010 can only open documents in Read-Only mode, and can’t edit them. Windows XP/Office 2007 users however can edit them just fine.

Background Information

Since the week-end, users started to complain that they can no longer edit documents from SharePoint. It seems that every time a user running Windows 7/Office 2010 tries to edit a document, the office application opens it in Read-only mode, giving them the following mention in the title bar:

If they try to edit and save it, it forces them to save it in another location. Users running Windows XP/Office 2007 never noticed any issues, and can still edit the document normally. If users checkout the document remotely (not choosing Local Draft Folder) before trying to edit it, they get a notification bar at the top of the document saying that the file is locked by another users, which is not the case:

If I check it out using the local draft folder, I am able to open the document in edit mode, but when time comes to check the changes back in, it complaints that there were errors uploading the files back into the environment:

We had a release over the week-end that was simply adding some custom web parts assembly files to the GAC, and adding a new Binding entry for a WCF service connection. I know what you guys are thinking, there’s just too much of a coincidence here for that release not to have caused the problem, and I agree 100% with you. But why would a basic out-of-the-box feature such as editing a file be broken by the addition of a simple WCF binding entry? I tried rolling back the changes in the web.config, but the problem still persists.

As it seems to be the case with all of my problems, I am not able to reproduce the problem in our development environment. It made me wonder if a Group Policy may have changed lately. However accessing our SharePoint environment using a PC connected via VPN (that doesn’t get any GPO applied), exposes the same behavior. I have also asked our infrastructure folks, and they assured me that no updates had been pushed to the front-end, the database, or any of the client machines in about 3 weeks.

Another strange thing to note is that before this problem started happening, users reported that opening the latest version of a document gave them an error in the office application saying that they weren’t able to find the document. They were however able to open previous versions without any issues. That error eventually disappeared by itself, and the read-only issue started happening.

Please note that the problem described above happens for every file no matter where they reside on the server (different web, different site collections).



  • Office documents open in read-only mode for windows 7/office 2010.
  • Windows XP/Office 2007 users don’t have any problems.
  • Checking out a document remotely before editing gives an error saying the document is locked by another user.
  • Checking out a document locally gives you an “Upload Failed” error when trying to check your changes back in.
  • Windows 7/Office 2010 don’t have the problem in our development environment.

Things I’ve tried without success:

  • Repairing Office 2010;
  • Downloading the document locally, and re-uploading it;
  • Sacrificing a goat;



The fix for this problem was to get rid of the serviceDebug and serviceMetadata entries in the web application’s web.config:<behaviors>
<serviceDebug includeExceptionDetailInFaults=”true” />
<serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled=”true” />

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