How to Allow Downloads in Internet Explorer

Using the Internet Options menu, Internet Explorer users can enable or block the ability to download files from the Internet. While keeping your download capability disabled can make your browsing experience a little more secure, it makes downloading selected files from websites — photos from Facebook, for example — less convenient. The download option can be toggled on and off at any time, requiring little more than a browser restart between setting changes.


Blocking the ability to download files doesn't restrict the ability to upload files. With this setting, you can post new photos to your Facebook, but you can't save other photos on Facebook to your hard drive.

Step 1

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Click the gear-shaped Tools button and select Internet Options.

Step 2

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Select the Security tab and click Custom Level.

Step 3

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Scroll through the Security Settings list to the Downloads heading and select the Enable radio button to permit downloads or select Disable to block them. Click OK.


The Security Settings list has options for customizing how Internet Explorer handles online content like ActiveX, the launching of on-site applications and files, and the ability to copy and paste files from Internet Explorer to other programs.


Many of the options presented are intended for advanced users who know what each setting means. Configure only the options you understand; use the recommended default settings otherwise.

Step 4

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Click Yes when prompted.

Step 5

Close and restart Internet Explorer to apply the changes. Since Internet Explorer won't close on its own, you still have time to finish up any tasks you were working on before restarting.


  • Each Windows account has its own Internet Options configuration. You can increase the security of the Guest account or accounts for children by limiting their permissions with Internet Explorer — including disabling download capabilities.
  • To change the Internet Options on a different account, log into that account and follow these steps. Repeat this process for each account you wish to configure.