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Cannot Open Files from Google Search Page

In a Google search which lists documents such as RTF (rich text), XLS (Excel spreadsheet), you cannot click on the document links to open the files directly.

Internet Explorer displays the yellow bar in the top of the browser pane which says, “To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options...”. If you then click the yellow bar, and choose Download File, the webpage is redirected back to the Google homepage.

However, you can click PDF (Acrobat) files appearing the Google search results, and they open within the browser window.

This occurs because some file types cannot be displayed in the browser window for security reasons, which triggers the download message, but links to files shown in the Google search results are not direct links to the files themselves; they are redirected first by Google, so a link to a file in fact is processed as (plus many other variables). In this instance, Internet Explorer becomes confused about what file is being downloaded.

The workaround is to right-click the link, and choose Open in New Tab. You will then get a second tab with the same yellow warning bar, but this time the Download File option works as expected.

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