FTP forces download of Excel 2007 files.

chrisdodds used Ask the Experts™
I have an end user that is trying to view/edit excel spread sheets from an FTP server.  However when he connects and clicks on the Excel spreadsheet, he is given the option to "Open" or "Save".  When he chooses to "Open" the file, the window immediately pops up and asks him if he'd like to save the file and at the bottom he is given this error:  

"The file you are downloading cannot be opened by the default program.  It is either corrupted or it has an incorrect file type.  As a security precaution, it is recommended that you cancel the download.  How can I decide what software to open?"

The "How can I decide what software to open?" is a link to the Internet Explorer help files but I find nothing very helpful about it in this situation.  With that said, I know the file is not corrupted and I know it's not our company firewall blocking the connections because I'm able to download all the files from that ftp site onto his PC and open them that way without any probelm - so I know it's not because he's got an earlier version of Excel, etc.   Also on this FTP site are PDF files.  He is able to open them without any problems.  It seems to be more of a microsoft office problem at this point.

I can login to the FTP server on a different PC using the same credentials, and open this Excel file without being forced to save.  Does anybody have any idea what setting needs to be modified to allow for my enduser to access the Excel spreadsheet file without having to save it first?

I've attached a screen shot of what happens when the end user selects a file from the FTP site.  Hopefully this clarifies my issue.  HELP!!!

Error received when attempting to open an Excel 2007 file on my FTP server.
One last bit of info...  My user CAN open .xls spreadsheets and work on them, but is NOT able to open and work on .xlsx spreadsheets without first being forced to save the file....  It must be an Excel 2007 thing?  And when using CoreFTP I am able to configure my enduser to access the FTP file server and from within that program I can edit .xlsx files without having to save to the local PC, but not natively in Windows XP.  It may have something to do with the Temporary Files download location for Excel 2007 spreadsheets?  These are the properties on my Excel (.xls) filetype - but my Excel 2007 9.xlsx) filetype is set up the same way.  I'm so frustrated...

 Excel filetype settings
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Should be able to solve the problem by installing SP3 for Excel and the compatability pack (all free from Microsoft):


(The basic problem, I'm fairly certain, is that he's trying to open Excel 2007 files using Excel 2003).


No, the user is using Office 2007.
Ah, sorry, I read too fast and didn't realize he could open the file if only it were saved first.  Am wondering if the problem might be the MIME handler for the xlsx extension.  See generally: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms775148%28VS.85%29.aspx

Have you tried reinstalling Excel 2007 on this machine (should only take a few minutes)?  This would probably set these various registry settings to right (and generally does not undo or overwrite the user's various Excel customizations).
Said "screw" FTP through Windows/Internet Explorer and instead configured both Core FTP Lite and FIleZilla client software to make work.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial