How to change the file download location in Internet Explorer

Update: The guide was written with Internet Explorer 9 in mind. The method described below works fine in newer browser versions, including the most recent version at the time of writing, Internet Explorer 11.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 automatically saves files in the Users username Downloads folder that is usually stored on the partition where Windows is installed. Some users may want to move the download location to another hard drive or partition.

Users with SSD drives for example, or users with little free space on the Windows drive, may consider moving the file download folder to avoid space issues on the primary drive.

Others may prefer a different location, easily accessible in Windows Explorer instead of the default download folder.

The change download folder option is built right into Internet Explorer 9. I have personally tested the setting in Internet Explorer 9 RC on Windows 7. It is likely that Windows Vista users will have the same options.

Open Internet Explorer 9, then the View Downloads window. This can be done by pressing Ctrl-j or by clicking Tools> Show Downloads from the browser menu bar.

The View Downloads window displays all user initiated downloads along with information about where they have been stored. If the download location has never been changed, Downloads is displayed in the Location column with reference to the user profile downloads folder mentioned above.

Clicking on Options in the lower left corner of the screen opens another window with options to change this downloads folder to another path.

Internet Explorer download options

The default download location is shown here along with an option to browse the hard drive for a new location.

change internet explorer downloads folder

Clicking on Browse opens a folder browser to make a new folder the default download folder for Internet Explorer 9. Unfortunately, there is no option available to change the download folder manually, either by clicking in the field, or by directly pasting a path.

The only other option available in the download options is to turn off notifications when downloads are complete.

Internet Explorer 9 will use the new download location for all future file downloads from this point on.


How to change the file download location in Internet Explorer

Article name

How to change the file download location in Internet Explorer

The description

Find out how to change the default download location of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser so that file downloads are saved in a different location on the PC.


Martin Brinkmann


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Donald E. Hollingsworth

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