Thursday, November 09, 2006


Annoying Download Behaviour

Sometimes the seemingly simplest problems set you seething. Today I wasted at least 30 minutes trying to discover the reason why, when I clicked on a web page file download link, it would automatically download the file and open it without giving me the option to save it.
If you've worked in any kind of support role, you will have heard this many times: I hadn't changed anything! At least knowingly. At first I blamed IE (the universal scape goat!).

A few days ago downloads went off with a bang everytime, today the touch paper was fizzling and going out! I'm sure I didn't change anything... It's times like these, you realise how frustrating technology must be to someone who is not computer literate.

I could have fired up FileMon to find where it was temporarily storing the file, but this seemed the wrong answer. The answer in the end was very simple, but I still have no idea why it had changed...):
  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options
  3. On the File Types tab, select the appropriate file type in the Registered File Types list
  4. Click the Advanced button and ensure the "Confirm open after download" checkbox is ticked
  5. Click OK, and then OK again
  6. Repeat for any other offending file types


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