How Do I Stop Windows From Blocking My Downloads?

By Chad Davis

Files you download from the Internet may be blocked due to your computer system's current security settings. In Microsoft Windows, you can manage advanced security settings using the items available in the Control Panel. Web browsers on your computer can be restricted by the security zone level settings located in the Internet Options dialog. If your Windows Firewall is enabled, it could be restricting access to incoming connections, downloads or other applications on private or public networks.

All Control Panel Items

Step 1

Press "Windows-C" to open the Windows Charms menu. Alternatively, swipe in from the right of your screen.

Step 2

Click on the "Search" icon to open the Search charm.

Step 3

Type "Control Panel" and then press "Enter" to open the Control Panel.

Step 4

Select "Small Icons" from the View By drop-down in the top right of the window to display All Control Panel Items.

Internet Options

Step 1

Click "Internet Options" in the All Control Panel Items window.

Step 2

Click on the "Security" tab.

Step 3

Click the "Default Level" button. This button adjusts your security level to the default state of Medium-High.

Step 4

Click the "Custom Level…" button.

Step 5

Scroll down to the Downloads section and then click the "Enable" radio button.

Step 6

Click the "OK" button to save changes.

Step 7

Click "OK" again to close the Internet Options dialog.

Windows Firewall

Step 1

Click on the "Windows Firewall" link in the All Control Panel Items window.

Step 2

Click on the "Turn Windows Firewall On or Off" link in the left sidebar.

Step 3

Uncheck the box next to "Block All Incoming Connections, Including Those in the List of Allowed Apps" under Private Network Settings and Public Network Settings.

Step 4

Click the "OK" button to save your changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you make unwanted changes to your Windows Firewall or Internet Options, you can restore your settings to its defaults. In Internet Options, select the "Reset All Zones to Default Level" button on the security tab. In Windows Firewall, click the "Restore Defaults" link in the left sidebar.
  • Use caution when making changes to your security settings in Windows Firewall and Internet Options. Changing other settings may cause unwanted results.
  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1. Steps may vary with other versions or products.