We have an old web app that we are still running and it requires Internet Explorer to download a .dll file automatically before it can launch the program. This is a web base testing program for students.

When we had IE7 our group policy to allow downloads worked fine, but recently we decided to upgrade to IE8 and now it will not allow the dll to download properly.

It comes up with a yellow ribbon saying:

EDIT (added this to clarify): "To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options..."

I have tried everything, even disabling every security feature on IE8 but the yellow ribbon still shows up and says it has disabled the file from being downloaded.

I have researched this to no end. I am wondering if IE8 by default will not allow dll files to be automatically downloaded no matter what, in other words you cannot change it.

ANSWER: I found the answer after many hours of mindless searching

Applications that host the WebBrowser control can take advantage of the tighter restrictions on file downloads. You manage the restrictions through a security feature control registry key (FEATURE_RESTRICT_FILEDOWNLOAD). Internet Explorer (Iexplore.exe) needs to run under this feature control to disable the feature and this can be achieved by setting the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (or HKEY_CURRENT_USER) > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main > FeatureControl > FEATURE_RESTRICT_FILEDOWNLOAD > iexplore.exe = 0x00000000

I created a new DWORD reg entry name iexplore.exe and set it to zero.

More info at the link below:



The text of the warning that you're seeing would be helpful. If I had to guess, I'd say that you're trying to download an unsigned ActiveX control, and automatic downloads of such unsigned controls are disallowed in all the IE security zones by default. (I believe that the "Trusted Sites" zone prompts on unsigned controls, but none of the zones allow for automatic download of unsigned controls.)

Either sign the ActiveX control with a certificate that the client computers will trust, or alter the browser's behaviour with Group Policy to permit the unsigned code download.

  • What is suppose to happen exactly is, I would go to the url and it would automatically download the .dll and launch the testing software. Now in IE8 all it does is prompt you with this: "To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options..." When you click for more option it just tells you if you want to download the file. If you click download then it works, but I need this to run automatically without prompting me. I have tried everything both on the computer side and group policy side with no results. – radioactive21 Dec 3 '09 at 20:25
  • So, you've tried putting the site into "Trusted Sites" and setting "Download unsigned ActiveX controls" to enabled? – Evan Anderson Dec 3 '09 at 21:48
  • @Evan Yes, I even unchecked every single security setting in IE8, pretty much making the browser as insecure as you can get and nothing worked, until I found the reg entry. – radioactive21 Dec 4 '09 at 18:30
  • Zow. I'll file that away. Good thing to know. – Evan Anderson Dec 4 '09 at 18:36

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