Why does Internet Explorer block some file downloads?

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Internet Explorer will block a file from downloading if it appears that you did not request the file. This might happen if a website tries to download files to your computer without your permission or if you requested a file but the download did not start immediately.

Before downloading any file, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you ask for this file? Did you click a link on a website to start this download, or did the download begin without any action on your part? If you did not start the download, you should be very cautious about the file. If you don't need the file, cancel the download. If you choose to save or run the file, make sure you know what it is for and what it will do to your computer before you proceed.

  • Do you trust the website providing the file? Don't download any file unless you absolutely trust the website or publisher it is from.

  • Do you know what the file is for and what it will do to your computer? The website providing the file should describe what the file is for and provide any special details you need to know about the file to run it. If this information is not available, be cautious about downloading the file.

  • What should I do when a file is blocked? When a file is blocked, a message will appear on the Information bar. If you are sure that you want to download the file, click the Information bar, and then click Download File. When you are prompted to download the file, read the information in the dialog box very carefully. Make sure the file is from a website you trust.