Fix: Can't Download Anything on a Windows 11 Computer

Get back to downloading files on your PC using these solutions

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Key notes

  • When the downloads are not working, start by checking if you can do that with external programs.
  • Another great idea is to clear your browser's Internet data and cache.
  • Reinstalling your browser may also fix the problem if you can't download anything.
cant download files windows 10

You’re in big trouble if you can’t get documents online, even with the best browsers for downloading files. But you already know that.

We have seen complaints like – my computer won’t download files from internet, I can’t download anything on my computer Windows 10 and 11.

There are different reasons for failing to download files or even folders in Windows 10. It can be due to wrong settings on your browser, an app on your PC, or some other issues with your system.

Irrespective of the cause, this guide contains simple yet effective fixes to solve the can’t download files on Windows 10/11 issue.

Why is my computer not letting me download files?

There are numerous reasons you might be unable to download the files on Windows 10 and 11. It might be down to your antivirus or firewall blocking the file. Below are some of the other reasons:

  • Corrupt browser data
  • Insufficient space
  • Presence of virus
  • Faulty system files

The solutions will share will work if you can’t download from Microsoft Store on Windows 11,

How do I enable downloads on Windows 11?

1. Check if external programs are downloading something

The faulty Internet connection is the first thing that comes to mind if you can’t download files on Windows 10. But since you’re reading this article, your Internet connection should be alright.

On the other hand, something may be blocking your downloads or using the entire bandwidth.

In most cases, that’s a download from an external program. For example, if you’re downloading a significant game on Steam, you probably won’t have enough bandwidth for other downloads.

It would also help to find out whether Windows is downloading something in the background already by reading this helpful guide.

2. Clear browser data

  1. Launch Chrome and click the menu button.
  2. Choose the Settings option.
    settings cant download files windows 10
  3. Select Privacy and security on the left pane.
  4. Choose Clear browsing data.
    clear browsing
  5. Click the dropdown next to Time range and select All time.
    all cant download files windows 10
  6. Check the boxes for Browsing history, Cookies and browser data, and Cached images and files.
  7. Finally, click the Clear data button.
    clear data cant download files windows 10

Usually, the accumulated cache is not that of a problem until it is corrupt. But, once it gets corrupt, it can cause all sorts of problems, including the can’t download files issue on Windows 10. So, clearing the data should help fix this issue in this case.

3. Reinstall your browser

  1. Press the Windows + I keys to open the Settings app.
  2. Select the Apps option.
  3. Click on Google Chrome.
  4. Click on the Uninstall button.
  5. Go to the official website to download Chrome.
  6. Click the Download Chrome button.
    download cant download files windows 10
  7. Click on the downloaded file and follow the simple onscreen instruction to complete the installation.

You might need to uninstall and reinstall the browser if you can’t download a file on Google Chrome even after clearing the data. The uninstallation and reinstallation process is similar on all major browsers, with just a few tweaks.

You can use one of the best uninstaller software to make sure you can remove the browser and all its components.

4. Make sure you have enough space

You can’t download any files on Windows 10 if you don’t have space to keep them. So, check if you have enough storage space for the file you want to download.

If you don’t have enough space on your hard disk, consider deleting some apps you don’t use or clearing temporary and old files.

5. Change download location

  1. Open Chrome and click the menu button.
  2. Select Settings.
    settings cant download files windows 10
  3. Click Downloads in the left pane.
  4. Click the Change button.
    change button
  5. Choose your desired location and click the Select folder button.
    select folder

You can’t download files on Windows 10 because of issues with the download location. Changing the download location, in this case, should solve the problem.

The procedure slightly varies depending on your browser, but it’s pretty simple on all of them.

6. Don’t use the download manager

There are thousands of download managers for Windows 10 out there. But the truth is, you don’t need one!

Back in the days when browsers weren’t as advanced as they are today, maybe this type of software had some value, but today, not so much.

Your browser will provide you with every download tool you need, which should be more than enough.

Using a download manager can only negatively affect your downloads. So, if you have one installed on your computer, go and delete it and use your browser for downloading files.

7. Check for viruses

7.1. Use the built-in tool

  1. Press the Windows key + I and select Update & Security.
    update and security
  2. Click Windows Security in the left pane.
    windows cant download files windows 10
  3. Click Virus & threat protection.
    virus and threat
  4. Now, select Scan options.
    scan options settings cant download files windows 10
  5. Choose your desired scan option and click the Scan now button.
    scan now

We don’t have to tell you that viruses and malware can do nasty things to your computer. But, it can be the reason you can’t download files on Windows 10. Choose the Full Scan or Microsoft Defender Offline scan option for an in-depth can.

7.2. Use a dedicated antivirus software

However, as good as the built-in virus scanner is, it is still not as good as dedicated antivirus software. And there is no better antivirus than the award-winning ESET NOD32 software.

The ESET NOD32 Antivirus is a fast and light software that offers total online and offline protection. It uses cutting-edge technology and advanced machine learning to protect your digital life on your PC.

Moreover, it has a home, enterprise, and business plan with varying numbers of allowed devices.

Lastly, with crypto, online shopping, malware, ransomware, and phishing protection, you are sure you have everything you need to protect your PC.


8. Disable the antivirus

Now, let’s do the total opposite. There’s a chance Windows Defender won’t let you download a file if it is perceived malicious. So, the obvious solution, in this case, is to disable your antivirus solution temporarily.

But be careful. You should do this only if you’re sure the file you’re trying to download is secure. If you’re not sure, it’s better to keep your antivirus on.

Your antivirus can block your Internet connection, so check out this helpful guide to find out more.

9. Disable the Firewall

  1. Go to Search and type firewall.
  2. Open Windows Firewall.
  3. Click on the Turn Windows Firewall off or firewall can't download files windows
  4. Go to Turn off Windows Firewall.

If you still can’t download files on Windows 10, it might be the Windows firewall blocking downloads for some reason. So, you might consider switching it off. But once again, for a short period.

10. Run SFC and DISM scans

10.1. Run an SFC scan

  1. Press the Windows button and type cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. In the command line, type the following command and press Enter: sfc/scannowsfc scannow can't download files windows
  4. Wait for the procedure to finish, and restart your PC.

Sometimes, your Windows 10 computer won’t download files from the internet because of broken system files. The simplest solution, in this case, is to run the SFC scan.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, you better look at the guide.

10.2. Run a DISM scan

  1. Open Command Prompt an administrator as shown in the previous step.
  2. In the command line, type the following command and press Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    dism can't download files windows
  3. The process should scan and resolve possible file corruption and fix related issues.

If the SFC scan fails to rectify the can’t download files issue on Windows 10, you can always turn to DISM. This will help to fix the broken and corrupt system files causing the problem.

There is also the possibility that DISM can fail on Windows 10 but don’t worry because we have an expert guide on how to fix it.

11. Reset the Internet Security settings

  1. Search, type Internet options, and open it from the results.
  2. Go to the Security tab, click on Internet, and Custom level…
  3. Scroll to Downloads, and make sure that the Front download option is enabled.internet security settings can't download files windows
  4. Save the changes and restart your computer.

Downloads should be enabled by default, but there’s a chance something disturbed this setting. We can’t surely tell you the cause, but it won’t hurt to check if the settings are on point.

12. Check the registry

  1. Open Search and type regedit.
  2. Open the Registry Editor.
  3. Go to the following path:
  4. Look for the Attachments subkey (If you can’t find it, create one).
  5. To create the Attachments subkey, right-click Policies, select New, then Key, and name it Attachments.
  6. Right-click Attachments, select New, then DWORD (32-bit), click on Set Value name as ScanWithAntiVirus and give it the value of 1.

After downloading a specific file, browsers will automatically put it through the antivirus scan with your antivirus program (if you have any).

So, as we were saying before, your antivirus may not allow the file to be downloaded, and you’ll run into a problem. The solution, in this case, is to disable the feature that forces your downloads to go through the antivirus scan.

Note: Doing this is not recommended for safety reasons, so if you determine antivirus scans are not the cause of your problem, turn this feature back on by using the steps above.

If you can’t edit your registry, follow the steps in this dedicated guide and learn how you can do it like a pro.

13. Reset your computer

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click the Update & Security option.
    update and security
  3. Choose Recovery on the left pane.
  4. Click the Get Started button under the Reset this PC option.
    get started cant download files windows 10
  5. Choose Keep my files.
    keep files
  6. Finally, click the Next button followed by Restart.
  7. After the procedure is finished, you’ll end up with a fresh copy of Windows.

Resetting your system should be your last resort, but if none of the above helps, it might be the only viable solution.

If the Settings app doesn’t launch on your Windows 10 PC, look at the article to solve the issue.

If resetting the PC doesn’t work, don’t worry because we have a great step-by-step guide that can also fix that problem.

What to do if I can’t download anything on my Windows 11 computer?

If you can’t download files on Windows 11, it is usually down to issues with your browser. You can clear your browser data or reinstall it, as shown in this guide.

Also, it might be due to your antivirus or firewall blocking the download. In this case, you need to disable Windows Defender or any other third-party antivirus you are using.

How do I change my download settings?

Changing download settings on your browser can be done from the browser settings. This guide shows how to change the download location on Chrome.

This is an effective way to solve download issues on your browser. The method is similar to most modern browsers, with just a few differences.

That’s about it. We hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the can’t download files problem on Windows 10 and 11.

If you are facing other issues like download failed system busy error on Chrome, check our detailed guide to fix it quickly.

The comments section is just below if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

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