How to Manage Your Downloads in the Internet Explorer 11 App

Web browsers are usually the most used software when it comes to downloading files. This is why managing downloads has to be simple and intuitive, so users can find their way easily through the files they downloaded in the past. Because Internet Explorer 11 app for Windows 8.1 is a relatively new web browser, we will share with you everything you need to know about downloading and managing downloaded files in this browser.

The Download Options You Have in the Internet Explorer App

After you press the Download button or link on a website where you want to download a file, a dialog box is shown, asking if you want to run, open or save the file. If you are downloading an executable file, you will see Run instead of Open. If you are downloading a document or an archive, you will see Open instead of Run.

Choosing either of these two options, makes the Internet Explorer app download the file to a temporary location. Once the download has finished, the file will be opened or executed.

You should choose Open or Run only if need to open/run that file once, because the file will not show up in the Downloads folder and will be automatically deleted later on, since it is stored in a temporary location.

However, if you click or tap the Save button, the file will be saved in the Downloads folder and will show up in the Downloads section of the Internet Explorer app. That's why we recommend that you always go for this option.

Every time you download a file, the browser performs a security check to make sure you don't download malicious files. The check is made automatically using the SmartScreen Filter and then with the default antivirus you have installed on your computer or device.

If you left the browser window during the download process, a notification will pop-up telling you that the file has been downloaded successfully.

The downloaded file will not be opened automatically but a dialog box is shown, asking what you want to do with the file.

To open or run the file, click or tap the Open or Run button.

If you decide you don't want to run or open the file, click or tap the Close button.

How to Manage Your Downloaded Files in the Internet Explorer App

You can find all the files you downloaded in the Downloads section of the Internet Explorer app. To get to the Downloads section, open the browser, then click or tap the Page tools button (the one with the wrench icon).

In the Page tools menu, click or tap the View downloads link to get to the Downloads section.

Also, for keyboard users, it's good to know that you can get to the Downloads section by using CTRL + J on your keyboard.

Here you can find all the files that you downloaded using the Save button mentioned earlier. To select a file, click or tap its tile.

At the bottom of the Downloads section, you can find the buttons that allow you to manage your downloaded files.

Please notice that the browser knows how to tell the difference between files based on their file type, so the actions available will be slightly different from file to file.

Let's see what every button in the Downloads section does:

  • Open/Run - Opens the selected file using the default program for that type of file or runs the executable file you have selected.
  • Open file location/Open program location - Opens the folder where the file was downloaded. By default, all the files are saved in the Downloads folder.
  • Delete file/Delete program - Deletes the selected file from your computer or device and removes it from the Downloads section of the Internet Explorer app.
  • Clear - Removes the selected file from the Downloads section of the Internet Explorer app. However, the file is not deleted from your hard disk.
  • Clear list - Removes all the entries in the Downloads section of the Internet Explorer app. Your downloaded files will remain on your hard disk.


The Downloads section is a small part of the Internet Explorer app and when using it for the first time it is not that easy to figure out how to access and manage your downloads. Hopefully this guide has managed to do a good job at explaining everything. If you have any questions regarding downloads in the Internet Explorer app, please use the comments section below.