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Windows 7: IE9: How to automatically OPEN/RUN downloaded file?

18 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
IE9: How to automatically OPEN/RUN downloaded file?

Is it possible for Internet Explorer 9 to automatically open a file for a given filetype/extension? Previous versions would do this.

For example, every time I click a .PDF file to download, the yellow bar opens on the botton saying "Do you want to open or save xxx.pdf... from". My .PDF are associated with Adobe Reader (Open With..always), yet it keeps asking to open it. Same thing with other file types like .ICA for citrix access, .docx for Office etc.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Blake and welcome to Seven Forums.

Scroll down about 2/3 of the way on page 1 to RojasC and also see the last entry page 2.

How can I set IE9 to open download files automatically ? - Microsoft Answers

I think Microsoft made it more difficult as part of the enhanced security in IE9 compared to previous versions. See this previous Seven Forums thread:

How to Auto Run Downloaded Files in IE 9
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit


I previously read these and the proposed solution in the first thread did not work. I opened IE9 "View Downloads" manager and my downloaded file was listed there (tried a PDF and ICA-citrix file).. but when I right-click the file, I am NOT given the option "Always ask before opening this type of file" ??

After right clicking, the options I am presented with are:
Delete File
Copy download link
Go to download webpage
Open containing folder
Report that this file is unsafe
Rerun security check on this file
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit

Anyone have any ideas? Should not be so difficult to automatically run designated file types like PDFs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2012   #5

Win7Pro & XPpro
Any update or new ideas for this?

Please excuse the thread resurrection, but this issue appears to remain unanswered, and not just here at SevenForums. Anyone anything to add or suggest please?

I'm currently required to use IE on a site that's under development. At some point the site will be tested for other browsers, but for now, we've more pressing objectives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2012   #6

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

There is a very good reason why this is difficult to do. Automatically downloading and or running files from the internet would be a major security disaster...It just is not smart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2012   #7

Win7Pro & XPpro

Thanks for your feedback logicearth. The security issue is a very important point to raise and I should have addressed it.

I my instance, I'm only using IE for this test/development site. It's a fully trusted site, including it's downloadable content. Only I would be trying this risky policy, as I don't want to spend time considering tying down staff's browser usage any more than we currently do.

So, you say it's difficult to do, which implies you believe it's not impossible. Any ideas and suggestions on doing so would be appreciated. To be utilised at one's own security risk, of course.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

Here is an answer that I posted in another forum on this topic:

I think I have your anwser. I had the same problem with opening PDF files via IE9. Here is what worked for me...

Basically, you go to the registry key...


...(create this key if it doesn't exist) and add a zero-byte REG_DWORD value under it named appropriately for the file type you want to open. Like this...


The tricky part is determining the proper name to give to this registry value. You need to look at the key names under HKCR and maybe try different ones associated with the file type you want to open. But once you get it, it works. In the case of PDF files (with Adobe Reader) it's AcroPDF.PDF.1, for example.

I plan to distribute this reg value via group policy to all my users who are complaining about being prompted to open/save PDF files from our accounting web site.

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2012   #9

Win7Pro & XPpro

Thanks @GregPick. Very interesting.

I've had a go with a couple of file types, without success. I bet getting the program ID right will be the issue.

I'll post back with info if I crack it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2013   #10
Denny M

Win 7 Pro 64 bit SP1
Resolution to PDF opening with word

If you right click on the pdf file in properties there is a box that says "OPENS WITH". Click on it and change the default to Adobe Reader. This will apply to all the pdf files on your system.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 IE9: How to automatically OPEN/RUN downloaded file?

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