Apr 242008

If you would like to change the default download target for Internet Explorer from ‘Desktop’ to some other location on your system, the following quick registry change will do it.

Click on Start—>Run type regedit click ok

Navigate the following key from left pane

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

Now you should see Download Directory key from right pane

Edit the ‘download directory’ value to the full path of the directory you wish to use click ok

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  21 Responses to “How to change the default download directory for Internet Explorer”

  1. Hmm? I looked at the location specified by the registry and it didn’t have what I had just, supposedly downloaded. The registry did have an entry which I thought more likely corresponded to “MRU” data.

    I’ll look elsewhere for a solution to my problem.

    Thanks – Art

  2. pues ya hice lo que dicen en la parte de arriba y nada mas no logro direccionar las descargas automaticamente. Auxilio

  3. Doesn’t work for me either…so easy in FF, wonder why IE is so much difficult! ;)

  4. This worked great for me. It was set to a non-existing location but did not give me a prompt to select the download destination. After following these instructions to change the location, it did pop-up and ask where I wanted to save the download or accept the default location. But I find it incredible that you have to go to the registry to change the default. Firefox lets you see it from the tools menu and change it from Tools > Options.

  5. This didn’t work for me either. I went to Internet Explorer in Regedit, but it was a folder that expanded to more folders with other strings.

  6. Another in the plethora of reasons to just delete ie from your computer and never look back.

  7. I don’t see “Run” in the Start menu. Is this the correct procedure for opening RegEdit in Windows 7? I know how to open RegEdit in My Computer > Program Files of Windows XP, but where is “My Computer” in Windows 7? I don’t see that in the Start menu either.

  8. Lance, click the “orb” and where it says “start search”, enter regedit. (This replaced the “run” item in Windows XP.)

  9. How about doing it the easy way?

    In explorer pick any file (or even an image) and r-click on it
    Select save “Save Target as” (or “Save picture as” if you are setting it with a picture download)
    Navigate to the folder you want to save your DL to and save it there

    Next time you are downloading something it will save there.
    This is necessary because there are some links that don’t give you a choice of download so you want to set it with those that do.

  10. Why can’t IE make things easier like FF, Chrome & others? Jerk IE!

  11. great…
    but, how if i want to eliminate/skip dialog prompt?
    i really need the solution

  12. IE is just jerk!! ass-hole Microsoft. Why can’t I see the settings somewhere in Tools->Options. Why do I have to edit the registry????? Makes no sense.

  13. Worked perfectly! Read the directions carefully – the key you’re looking for is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer. Do NOT navigate one lever deeper to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download – an easy mistake to make but not correct, and possibly why some may be having difficulty.

  14. Why not using Avant browser which based on IE?It’s fast and easy to use,of course I choose it instead of IE due to its stability and compatibility.

  15. Why would anyone want to do all of that when using other web browsers is so much easier with tool/option/general.

  16. Upgrade to the latest version of IE for Windows 7. Open IE, from the menu bar, click on Tools, look for View Downloads & click to open. At the bottom left hand corner, click on options. Browse to the location where you store your download folder, then click on “select folder” button, then click OK. You have now changed the default location.

  17. Had to add the string key and value, but worked perfectly when I restarted IE. Thanks for the tip.

  18. Lois, Thanks for your February 2011 updated instructions. Worked great.

  19. I’ll tell you why some people “just don’t download another browser”.
    Because they are at work and it is company policy to use only ie, and downloading and/or installing any programs is locked by default desktop security.
    Another reason is because the company webmail (web-outlook) is the company webmail of choice and guess what browser is the only one that correctly renders pages of weboutlook correctly…

  20. it worked.. IE rocks

  21. Can’t It be done without using the regedit

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