When you attempt to open or download a Microsoft Office
document (.doc file, .xls file, .ppt file, and so on) from a secure Web site in
Internet Explorer, you may receive one of the following error messages, even
though the document is available and downloaded from the server:
Error message 1
Error message 2
Explorer cannot download file from
Internet Explorer was not able to open this Internet site. The requested site
is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later.
Error message 3
page cannot be displayed.
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be
experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser
Cannot find server or DNS Error
Error message 4
Application Name cannot open the file.
Publisher cannot find the file you specified.
problem occurs if the server is using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and has added
one or both of the following HTTP headers to the response message:
In order for Internet Explorer to open documents in Office
(or any out-of-process, ActiveX document server), Internet Explorer must save
the file to the local cache directory and ask the associated application to
load the file by using IPersistFile::Load
. If the file is not stored to disk, this operation fails.
When Internet Explorer communicates with a secure Web site through
SSL, Internet Explorer enforces any no-cache
request. If the header or headers are present, Internet Explorer
does not cache the file. Consequently, Office cannot open the file.
Web sites that want to allow this type of operation should
remove the no-cache
header or headers.
This behavior is by design.
Files that are associated with Internet Explorer itself
(including .txt files, .html files, .gif files, .jpg files, .xml files, and so
on) do not generally have the problem. Files that are associated with
non-Office applications may or may not have the problem, depending on the
Web developers should note that some firewalls and
security programs may add these headers automatically to all outbound HTTP
responses. Even if you have not configured your Web server, Internet Server
Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) extension, or Active Server Pages
(ASP) script to return these headers, your site may include them by default.
Check with your firewall or security administrator to determine if this is the
case, and discuss the security risks to your company if you choose to disable
this option to allow caching for these files.
Steps to reproduce the behavior
- In the Wwwroot folder for your IIS server, create a new ASP
file. Name the file Testnocache.asp, and then add the following code to the
Response.ContentType = "application/msword"
Response.AddHeader "Cache-control", "no-cache"
<HTML><BODY>Test File Loaded in Microsoft Word</BODY></HTML>
- Configure your IIS server to use SSL.
- On a client system that has Word installed, browse to the
ASP file using HTTPS, as follows:
You may be prompted to open or save the file on some systems.
Regardless of which option you choose (or if you are not prompted to open or
save the file), you receive an error message and are unable to open or save the
- Remove the AddHeader line from the ASP file, and then browse to the URL from the
client. The document opens in Word.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Creating server certificates using Certificate Services Web forms