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Opening/downloading files problem on PCs but not Macs

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  • #15627

    Hi there,

    Has anyone encountered problems with opening and/or downloading Excel and Word files that are posted in groups?

    We have found that Macs can open these files with no problem but for PCs, the default application for Office files is WinRAR.Zip. This is not the case for PDFs which open automatically in Adobe.

    Choosing “open with” didn’t seem to solve the problem.

    What’s more, we’re worried that the more steps necessary to open files, the less people will utilize our Commons group as it may be seen as too cumbersome.

    Any solutions?



    Hi Zoe,

    What are the extensions on the files you’re trying to download? And are you
    finding that this problem happens only a certain set of computers in a
    certain location, or on any PC you try? Please follow up on this by
    emailing with details (Group name, files in question,
    campus/location of the computers, etc.).

    If others have experienced this as well, please let us know. Many thanks.




    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the reply!

    So, we’ve only tested this out on a handful of computers but .DOC/DOCX and .XLS/.XLSX files will download and open without issue on any Mac, at a group member’s home or in the Silberman building of Hunter. But the PCs that faculty in Community Health Education are using in Silberman won’t open anything but Adobe automatically. I haven’t had anyone try this on a PC at home but can try to do that.

    I will send an email with that info to the address you provided.



    Thanks, Zoe. Since we haven’t heard (yet, at least) that this an issue for
    anyone else, the Commons team will troubleshoot this with you individually.



    Christopher Stein

    One more piece of information that might help. Were the documents created by people on PCs or MACs? Also if they were created on MACs was it with MS Office or with Pages or Numbers?

    Another thing to check is if it is those particular files or with those particular computers. Seeing if people can download the files from home PC’s is a way to see if it is the files. You can also ask the people to try other files from the Silberman PCs to see if they can open them. There are a few .doc files in this public group:


    Hi folks,

    So we finally were able to have someone try a home PC and all worked well. Looks like the issue is with the Hunter-Silberman faculty PCs. I will call IT to see if the security settings or some other configuration is causing the problem.

    All docs were created in MS Office on both PCs and Macs.


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