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How can I enable downloads for Windows Server 2008? By default when I try to download something with internet explorer the download is blocked.

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This is quite ambiguous. We need more info please – Jacob Feb 10 '11 at 14:16

Go to Server Manager > Configure IE ESC (under Security Information) and disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Configuration for administrators.

Alternatively (and probably safer) is to either download from a workstation and save it to a share on the server or add the site in question to the trusted sites temporarily/permanently, depending on how often you'll be returning.

I generally proxy Web surfing on my servers with a set whitelist for various updates (like WSUS, Java, or whatever else is required).

enter image description here

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+1 for the response. Especially downloading to a workstation and moving via a share - keep browsing off the server if possible. – ITHedgeHog Feb 10 '11 at 14:21
Pretty picture courtesy of Chris S. – gravyface Feb 10 '11 at 14:30

You can enable this from internet option.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open IE or go to C Panel.
  2. On IE under "Tools" you will find Internet options.
  3. Or you can open Internet options from CPanel.
  4. Now select "Security" from top and go to Custom Settings.
  5. Scroll down a bit and enable download options.

Enjoy. But the best recommendation is to keep download disabled at least for your server.

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If you're interested in using SCCM's Configuration Baselines (or just regular old Group Policy) to check for compliance and/or force remediation of IE ESC here are relevant Registry Keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A7-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A8-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}

Value Name: IsInstalled
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 00000001 (Enabled)

You want to set your Configuration Item to ensure that the value of IsInstalled is 00000001 for the feature to be enabled or conversely 00000000 to disable it. The first key (A509B1A7...) controls IE ESC for Administrators and the second key (A509B1A8...) for regular users.

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