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Occasionally when I click a link in my Favorites Bar IE8 will open a file download prompt for the shortcut itself (.url file).

Very annoying.

Has anyone else experienced this? I swear I encounter this at least once a day.

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could you be catching a modifier key on your keyboard, or have a sticky key (an actual physical sticky key, or one emulated by the accessibility options)?

There is a combination (Alt+Click IIRC) that explicitly means "download the file pointed to by this link" not "go to this link".

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If a particular favorite got created with a URL to a .url file (that is, a shortcut) then IE will see that as you trying to download a .url file which it knows to flag as suspicious behavior. Check the address of the shortcuts in question (right-click on it, get properties, look at the URL box) and check to see if this is the case.

This can happen a couple of different ways. Dragging a Favorite that someone sends you via email or that you've created on your desktop are the most frequent ways I've seen.

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No, they're regular URL shortcuts. The URL is pointing the real web address. They're not shortcuts 'to' .url files. – Craig Aug 18 '09 at 16:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Found someone else with same problem. I can reproduce this by clickng "New Tab" then immediately clicking a favorites link.

A "solution" to this is to just Ctrl+click the favorites bar links to open them in a new tab.

Seems kinda stupid to click "New Tab" first only to click a favorites bar link thereafter. /facepalm

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