"Internet Explorer Cannot Download" Error Message When You Use an HTTPS URL to Open an Office Document or PDF File


When you try to open a Microsoft Office document or a PDF file by typing an HTTPS Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the document on the Address bar in Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the document may not open, and you may receive the following error message: Internet Explorer cannot
download document.pdf from server

Note: For Internet Explorer 9, please see the following KB article:


This issue may occur if any one or more of the following conditions are true:
  • The Do not save encrypted pages to disk check box is selected in Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1.
  • The server sends the "Cache-Control: No Store" header.
  • The server sends the "Cache-Control: No Cache" header.


A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

Date Time Version Size File name
11-Mar-2003 08:42 6.0.2800.1174 585,728 Wininet.dll


To work around this problem, make sure that Do Not Save Encrypted Files check box is not checked and that the server does not send the "Cache-Control: No Store" or the "Cache-Control: No Cache" header.

You may also be able to work around this problem by using an HREF to load the document.

Note This method does not work if the server uses the "Cache-Control: No Cache" header.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.