You cannot open Office files in Internet Explorer

Symptoms

When you try to open a Microsoft Office XP or a Microsoft Office 2003 file in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, the document does not open, and you receive one of the following error messages:

Error message 1

414 Request-URI Too Large - The size of the request header is too large. Contact the server administrator.
Error message 2
404 Page Not Found
Error message 3
A DDE error has occurred, and a description of the error cannot be displayed because it is too long. If the filename or path is long, try renaming the file or copying it to a different folder.

Cause

This problem occurs if the file or the path name is longer than 255 characters. If the file or the path name is longer than 255 characters, the file cannot be located on a URL Web address, a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path, or a mapped drive.

Additionally, Microsoft Office programs have a limitation for the total length of the path and the file name. The combined length cannot be more than 218 characters.

If the temporary file name in the Internet Temporary folder is longer than 218 characters, you will receive one of the error messages that is referenced in the "Symptoms" section.

Resolution

You can resolve this problem by updating your version of Internet Explorer to one of the following versions:
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 (5.50.4807.2300)
  • Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1
For additional information about how to update Internet Explorer, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

276369 How to obtain the latest service pack for Internet Explorer 5.5

328548 How to obtain the latest service pack for Internet Explorer 6

After you update Internet Explorer, you must make a modification to the registry to turn on the fix for this problem. You must add a new registry entry named TruncateFileName, that has the following properties:

Subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Internet Settings\
Entry: TruncateFileName
Type: DWORD
Value: 1

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


Follow these steps, and then quit Registry Editor:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Internet Settings\
  3. On the Edit menu, point to
    New, and then click DWORD value.
  4. Type TruncateFileName, and then press ENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu, click
    Modify.
  6. Type 1, and then click
    OK.


If you still cannot open a specific Office file, the temporary cache file may be damaged or corrupted. To resolve this problem, you must delete the temporary Internet files that Internet Explorer caches. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Internet Options on the
    Tools menu.
  2. Click Delete Files on the
    General tab.
  3. Click OK, and then click
    OK.

References

For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

325573 Error messages when you try to open document

248061 Error message: HTTP 414 - request - URI too long

208427 INFO: Maximum URL length is 2,083 characters in Internet Explorer

Properties

Article ID: 416351 - Last Review: Oct 29, 2008 - Revision: 1

Feedback