Managing Downloads in Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 brought plenty of changes, including a new interface for downloading files and managing them. Therefore, this tutorial will explain how downloading works in Internet Explorer 9, how to access and manage downloaded files, clear your download history and change the default download folder. Last but not least, I will explain a security feature used by Internet Explorer 9 to monitor and block certain files from being downloaded, called SmartScreen Filter.

How Downloading Works

When you want download a file, Internet Explorer 9 shows a small menu on the bottom of its window, which gives you the usual choices: Open the file (which means downloading it first and then opening it), Save it or simply Cancel your download. If you click on the arrow included in the Save button, you get additional options, including the possibility to save the file under a different name then its original or in another location than the default download folder (with the help of Save as).

Internet Explorer 9

Once the download starts, you are shown its progress in the same bottom window. As expected, you have controls for pausing, resuming or canceling the download.

Internet Explorer 9

If you are downloading more than one file at a time, you will see a summary of all downloads instead of individual summaries.

Internet Explorer 9

When the download is complete, you have different options, depending on the type of file you downloaded. For example, if you downloaded an archive or a document, you will get an Open button with a small arrow. If you click on that arrow, you also get the Open With option, which lets you choose the program you wan to open the file with.

Internet Explorer 9

If you download an executable file, you get a Run button which allows you the execute the file.

Internet Explorer 9

Viewing Active and Old Downloads

If you want to access at any time the list with active and old downloads, click on the View downloads button found in the download menu at the bottom of the Internet Explorer window. Also, you can find it in the Toos menu (the wheel-like button) or by pressing Ctrl+J on your keyboard.

Internet Explorer 9

The Downloads window shows both the files currently downloaded or completed downloads. For each file, you get the name, the location where it was downloaded, its size, where it (or will be) stored and a contextual list of action you can do, depending on its status.

Internet Explorer 9

To clear your download history, simply click the Clear list button.

Changing the Default Download Folder

By default, Internet Explorer 9 (or any other browser) saves your downloaded files in the Downloads folder, from your user profile. If you change the location of the Downloads folder, Internet Explorer will save files in the new location.

However, if you want to change the default download folder just for Internet Explorer, you can do so from the Downloads window shown in the section above. There you can find a link called Options on the bottom left side. Click on it and you get to the Download Options window. Browse to the new folder you want used for downloads and click OK to confirm your choice.

Internet Explorer 9

What's Up with Internet Explorer Telling You a File Can Harm Your Computer?

Sometimes you can encounter files which Internet Explorer won't let you download. It will give you a message, saying that the file 'is not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer'. What do you do, if you really want to download the file?

Find out in this article: What is the SmartScreen Filter & How Does it Work?.


As you can see from this article, managing downloads in Internet Explorer 9 is quite easy. In case you have any issues though, feel free to leave a comment. We will do our best to help.

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