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When I go online with Google Chrome and select to "open" an Excel spreadsheet from a specific web site, it opens the file in Excel 2003. The annoyance is that even though I did not choose to "save" the file, a copy still downloads to my computer that I have to manually delete after I'm done reading the file. Having to do this repeatedly is very frustrating.

Is there any way to stop this copy from downloading to my computer?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

In order to open a file, Chrome, and any other browser for that matter, must download the file first. Chrome puts all downloaded files, whether "Saved" or "Opened" in the same place: the download location which you can specify. See here for more info:

In short, no, I don't believe there is a way to prevent Chrome from downloading the file to your computer before opening it.

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I was hoping that files I opened could be directed into some temp folder that empty's when I delete the browsing data. Oh well, off to delete some more files : ) – M1CH43L P4VL Aug 27 '09 at 17:07
This is one of the annoying things about Chrome. My downloads folder is full of PDFs, Excel and Word files. I understand why it works this way, but it doesn't mean that it isn't annoying. – dlux Aug 27 '09 at 17:40

I'd suggest specifying the directory where Chrome downloads files at Options > Minor Tweaks to make it unique from other browsers/apps. For example, C:\Users\YourName\Downloads\Chrome.

Then just clean out that directory periodically. As far as I can tell there's no way to tell Chrome to simply open a file. Maybe in the future you will be able to open files with Google Docs by default.

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Make it redirect the download location to the temp folder that is cleared by any web browser when you clear browsing data.

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