Using Download Options in Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer 9 RC and it included a download manager. According to Microsoft:

Download Manager is integrated with the Windows download folder. It’s an easy way to interact with file downloads, which means you can sort, print, or send your downloads to another location, just as you would with other files. You can also use Download Manager to control your downloads, including everything from running or opening files to pausing or canceling downloads. You can even delete downloads from Download Manager.

This was all nice and dandy, except that most users (present company included) griped about IE 9 not including an option to choose a different download directory or folder based on the user’s needs. Instead, the download manager started the download and you were left wondering what happened to your file. And the yardstick against which IE 9’s download manager was measured was Mozilla Firefox and the way that browser handled downloads.

For example, Firefox has an option to “Always ask me where to save files”. Notice that Firefox also has the option of dumping all files in one folder, so Microsoft is catching unnecessary grief in that respect.

It turns out that IE 9 does have the option to save files to a location of the user’s choice.

When you want to download a file, a dialog box pops up at the bottom of the browser window that asks “Do you want to open or save <filename> from <website location>?”. Then you are given the option to “Open”, “Save” or “Cancel”.


On the “Save” tab, there is a little button to the right and if you click on it, you have more options to “Save”, “Save As”, or “Save and run”.

Now to be honest, it looks like this was an option that was either recently added or we missed it altogether because previously, when you wanted to download a file, the process just started and everything was being dumped in the “Downloads” folder. This dialog box was in the beta of IE 9 and for some reason, it looked like it disappeared for a while in the Release Candidate. I remember sending feedback to Microsoft about that little annoyance. So whether it was something we missed initially, or Microsoft just snuck it back in, it is a welcome addition. Having all files dumped in one folder without an option to save to a different location per download was a pain, especially if you had specific folders for different types of files (PDFs, ISOs, Drivers, Images etc.).