Internet Explorer doesn't ask where to Save Files?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Mike F. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have been reading your articles for quite a while and now I have a situation of my own and am hoping that you can help. The problem is that when I click a link to download a file, there are no options for me to choose where I can save the file. Subsequently, I cannot locate the files I download from the web. I have searched all over my computer but have had no luck. I would appreciate any help you can provide in resolving this problem. "

My response:

I've been asked this question a number of times in the past. According to, this problem can be resolved altering the "Confirm Open after Download" option for a specific file extension (example: an .EXE file, a .DOC file, etc). To do this:

  • Go to My Computer
  • Go to the Tools menu and choose Folder Options
  • Go to the File Types tab
  • Scroll down to the File Extension that you want to change (hint: the file extension you want to change corresponds with the type of file you're attempting to download that does not give you the option to Save)
  • Click on the Advanced button
  • Checkmark "Confirm Open after Download"

There is also a special case for the executable file extension (.EXE) which is *not* listed in the "File Extensions" listing (as described above). For this, you will need to do a registry edit.

The special circumstance scenario is this:

Normally, when you try and download a .EXE (self-executable) file with Internet Explorer, you are prompted to "Always ask before opening this type of file." Should you happen to accidentally checkmark the "Don't ask me this again" box: the next time an .EXE file is about to be downloaded, you will not be prompted to open the file and it will automatically open for you (not good!). Obviously, this is a *major* security issue because almost all viruses, worms, Trojans, and Spyware are transmitted through self-executable file packages.

To reset the Internet Explorer .EXE download file extension:

  • Click Start, and type in "regedit" (no quotes)
  • Go to Hkey_Classes_Root -> exefile
  • Change the EditFlags value from: d8 07 01 00 to: d8 07 00 00

For further information, refer to this Microsoft KB article:;en-us;140991

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