When I click a file to download it, no prompt appears asking whether I'd like to open or save the file. How can I change whether the file opens or saves, or specify a different download location?

Internet Explorer: No Download Prompt Appears

There are two reasons why the prompt may not appear:

  • Automatic prompting for downloads has been disabled.
  • The File Download prompt has been configured to never appear.

Please enable automatic download prompting. If that fails to resolve the issue, you can change the File Download prompt's configuration.

Note: If you are using Internet Explorer 9 or later, we recommend adding the sites used by your course to the Trusted Sites zone to enable the file download prompt. For instructions, please see Answer 8960.
In MyITLab: If you recieved a message stating that "your browser security settings must be set to enable 'Automatic prompting for file downloads'

Enabling the File Download Prompt

To enable prompting:

1. Open Internet Explorer and click Tools > Internet Options > Security tab.

2. Click Custom level... to open the Security Settings dialogue.

3. Scroll down to the Downloads heading and select Enable for automatic prompting, files, and fonts.

4. Click OK, and if asked whether you are sure, click Yes.

5. Click OK again.

After completing those steps, close all Internet Explorer windows. Then open Internet Explorer and attempt the download again.

Changing the File Download Prompt Configuration

If the File Download prompt still does not appear, it may be that it has been configured never to do so. When you first download a file, a prompt like the one below appears.

If you uncheck the "Always ask before opening this type of file" box and click Open or Save, your choice for this prompt will be automatically made every time you download this type of file and the prompt will not be displayed.

In Windows Vista or 7, resetting this choice requires editing the registry. If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Editing the registry is not recommended for most users. For more information, please visit the Microsoft Answers web site.

Note: If you are using Internet Explorer 9 or later, we recommend adding the sites used by your course to the Trusted Sites zone to enable the file download prompt. For instructions, please see Answer 8960.

In Windows XP, the choice can be reset by taking the following steps:

1. Click Start, Run and type CONTROL FOLDERS, then click OK.

2. On the File Types tab, click the file type for which you would like to restore the download prompt in the Registered File Types box.

3. Click Advanced.

4.Click to select the Confirm Open After Download check box.

5.Click OK, and then click OK.

You will now see the File Download prompt each time you download that type of file. To restore the prompt for other file types, repeat those steps.