Why can't I open .docx files from Confluence without saving them first?

We are in the process of upgrading Confluence from 3.5.13 to 4.3.2. A few users have reported that when using IE 8 and 4.3.2 to open a .docx attachement the "Open" option is not provided and they are forced to "Save" the attachment before opening it.

The only variable appears to be the Confluence version (the examples below are trying to open the same file).

Confluence 3.5.13:

Confluence 4.3.2:

This is not seen with Firefox or IE 7.


9 answers

1 accepted

3 votes
Accepted answer
Peter Koczan Atlassian Team Nov 08, 2012

I've added a new Knowledge base article on how to possibly get around this problem.


Please note that you have to implement this solution as your own risk!

Peter, this is a good workaround, though it nees to be {{Header}} and not {{Request-Header}}. I honestly don't see any risk in implementing this as it only provides a false sense of security.

Peter Koczan Atlassian Team Nov 09, 2012

Brett, you are absolutely right, I made a mistake there. Now I have corrected the KB, thank you very much for the heads up!



I approached support for this problem who provided the following cause:

After some investigation, it seems that the reason why this has happened is that there was a change to our HTTP headers with the 4.3 release, to add "X-Download-Options: noopen", which seems to have been part of a security patch.

MSIE seems to obey these directives more strictly than other browsers, so you are not seeing "Open" anymore. If you want to open an Office file for viewing directly, I recommend clicking the "View" link at the right of the screen, which uses the Confluence Office Connector to open the file in read-only mode.

Thanks Brett!

I have not verified the headers myself, but this sounds like a pretty solid answer. Did they happen to mention if this was intended or if they might be fixing it in a later release?



Hi Jon, the response started with the following:

Unfortunately I can't promise anything in the short term for having an option for this added, however we are definitely talking to our development team regarding whether we can put in a toggle for this as you have said. We appreciate your feedback on this, and are always looking to make the product better for our customers

While it seems unlikely that something will come in the short term, I wouldn't discount that it won't come. That said, I understand it that IE 10 now finally has a download manager. Unfortunately this doesn't solve our problem though as we are still using IE8 as IE9 keeps breaking sites for us.

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Can you check your windows versions. Wiindows 7 has the ability to force you to save the file first, so it can be scanned by your virus scanner.

Hi Norman,

I don't believe the users are using Win7, probably Vista or XP (corporate environment) but I will check. I would have thought that a configuration like that would have affected downloads from both Confluence instances...?

But again, why would that impact one Confluence instance and not the other?

XP and Vista have the ability to, but it is not the default.

I am only guessing here, but probably the metadata for the file has more information in the newer release such that windows or the web browser is deciiding the file could be dangerous.

0 votes
Peter Koczan Atlassian Team Oct 30, 2012

Could you try adding Confluence URL to the trusted sites list in IE? This would usually allow you to open the attachment straight.

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