Why won't my computer let me download anything?

Answer

Computers are often unable to download files because the Internet isn’t functioning, a firewall is blocking the downloads or a virus is preventing the transfer. Other possible reasons include faulty download manager plugins or download folder problems. Sometimes, users may actually be downloading the files but just misplace them.

Users should make sure that the computer being used to download files has an Internet connection. If the computer is unable to connect to the Internet, it has no chance of downloading files. Some operating systems, like Windows 7, have “fix Internet” solutions in the “Start” menu that help with this. Another important potential problem to check involves malware and viruses. By downloading and running antivirus software such as Norton, users are able to locate and remove threats that prevent downloads.

Users should also check the default download folder for their browsers. For example, in Firefox this is under “Options,” then “General” and finally under “Save files to.” If the download folder is different than expected, downloads may appear to fail. Opening the firewall settings in the operating system, or checking them in the browser also often helps resolve download problems. If the filter is too high, it could be killing every download before it begins. This is usually located in “Internet Options” in Internet Explorer, for example.

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