Office 2016: Documents cannot be stored on network shares

[German]A German blog reader contacted me for an observation. He has been getting for weeks  more and more messages from users in his enterprise network with Windows Server 2012, that Office documents sporadically cannot be stored on network shares. On the clients Windows 10 version 1909 is used. After tests he suspects that updates could cause the issue.


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It is clear to me that there could be a thousand reasons for these observations, which could be caused by the user’s network alone. But in case of such errors it helps to ask for other affected persons.

The problem description

Blog reader StefanP works as an administrator in a corporate environment and takes care of the users, as I read in his mail yesterday. He said in his mail yesterday ‘Maybe you can put the following time in the blog in the larger round …’ and describes the symptoms in this manner:

Trouble with network shares in Office/Excel

For several weeks now, we have been getting more and more reports from users here in my enterprise, that Office documents cannot be stored on network shares.

My research so far shows the following, comprehensible scenario:

1.)  Open a network share in Windows Explorer (e.g. \\MyServer\MyShare\MyFolder oder auch X:\MyFolder)

2.) Double-click on an Excel file (XLS or XLSX), Excel opens the file

3.) Immediately after pressing the F5 key in Windows Explorer, an error message appears: “\\\MyServer\MyShare\MyFolder” is not available. If …

4.) After a few seconds press F5 again in Windows Explorer: Everything is OK again, all files in \\\MyServer\MyShare\MyFolder are displayed. 

5.) Close Excel without changes to the file

6.) Immediately after pressing the F5 key in Windows Explorer, the error message “\\\MyServer\MyShare\MyFolder” is not available again. If … occurs.

7.) After a few seconds press F5 again in Windows Explorer: Everything is OK again, all files in \\\MyServer\MyShare\MyFolder are displayed.

So access to network shares is sporadically unavailable. Stefan describes his environment as:

  • The network shares are on a Windows Server 2012 (not R2).
  • The domain server is also a Windows Server 2012, and the AutoDisconnect option is, according to his specifications, disabled on the file server.
  • Excel (32bit) is used on all computers as part of Office 2016 Standard.
  • The workstation used as clients runs with Windows 10 V1909.

The computers are fully patched. Stefan wrote that on all computers the September 2020 updates for Windows and Office 2016 are installed..

The problem occurs only with Office

StefanP did further tests and tried the above scenario with simple text files. For this scenario he writes the following:


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1.) Opening a TXT file with the Windows Editor from the same network share does not cause any problems.

2.) Opening an Excel file from the same network share does not cause problems on a test system under Windows 10 V1809.

He concludes that Windows 10 V1909 seems to be at least part of the problem. However, most of his computers have been updated from Windows 10 V1809 to V1909 months ago. Since Microsoft Office 2016 has been in use for years, he suspects that Windows and/or Office patches are probably partly responsible.

He asks if I have ever heard of such problems? I’ve been seeing a lot of Office 365 issues lately, but this issue is not present. So I pass the question on to blog readers and ask: Are you aware of this behavior?


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