Unable to Open or View Downloaded File without File Extension

Retired KB Content Disclaimer

This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


When you try to open or save a file you downloaded from the Internet, you may experience one of the following symptoms:

  • When you try to open the file, you are prompted to choose a program to view the file, and this may occur even if you have a program associated with this file type.
  • When you try to save this file, the file may be saved with a document (.doc) file extension, and this may occur even if the file is not a document.


This issue can occur if both of the following conditions exist:

  • The Web address of the file you downloaded does not have a file extension.
  • The file you downloaded does not contain a content-disposition header.


To resolve this issue, contact the administrator of the Web site to request a file extension be added to the file, or a content-disposition header be added to the file.

To work around this issue if you know the proper file extension, rename the file, and add the appropriate file extension. To rename a file, right-click it, type the new file name, and then press ENTER.

Article ID: 208948 - Last Review: Jun 22, 2014 - Revision: 1