FIX: File download dialog box not appearing in Windows 10/11

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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File download dialog box is not appearing

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You struggled for a few minutes to make the file download dialog box appear in Windows 10 to no avail. Chances are you’ve accidentally unchecked the Always ask before opening this type of file in the file download dialog box.

Well, when you first download a file, this file download prompt should normally display. If you happen to clear the checkbox mentioned above, your choice will be automatically made every time you download the same type of file.

Moreover, the prompt will no longer be displayed. This preference is saved in the user part of the registry. Also, the configuration is stored in a separate registry value for each file type.

In this article, we list the best solutions for the missing file download box in Windows 10. Just keep on reading to figure out what your next move should be.

Steps to fix file download dialog box is not appearing in Windows 10

1. Reset the dialog box to default

Reset the dialog box

  1. Click Start > Run, then type CONTROL FOLDERS.
  2. Click OK and the Folder Options window opens next.
  3. Select the File Types tab.
  4. Look for the extension type that you want to reset and select it.
  5. Click the Advanced button.
  6. Put a checkmark next to Confirm open after download.
  7. Then, click OK twice to confirm.
  8. Click Close to the Folder Options dialog box.

If you have disabled Always ask before opening this type of file during previous file downloads, then apply the above steps to correct that. You should then see the file download prompt each time you download that type of file.

Interested in resetting the Always ask before opening this type of file choice for all file types? Just use the reg.exe command-line tool to make that happen.

To be more precise, open a Command Prompt window (CMD.EXE) and type:

 reg delete "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShellAttachmentExecute{0002DF01-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}" /va /f

2. Enable Automatic prompting for file downloads

Enable Automatic prompting for file downloads

  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Click the gear icon to open Tools.
  3. Go to Internet Options > Security tab.
  4. Here you’ll find four security zones listed:
    Local intranet
    Trusted sites
    Restricted sites
  5. Click the zone where you want to change the settings.
  6. Under Security level for this zone, click Custom Level.
  7. Under Automatic prompting for file downloads, click Enable.
  8. Confirm your choice by clicking OK when asked if you are sure.
  9. Click OK again.

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Still having trouble? Follow these detailed steps to allow the download dialog prompt to reappear. Don’t hesitate to close all Internet Explorer windows, then open Internet Explorer back and attempt the download again.

3. Try resetting Internet Explorer

try resetting Explorer

  1. Right-click on the Start button and click on Control Panel.
  2. Then, tap on Network and Internet.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, select the Advanced tab next.
  4. Go to Reset.
  5. If your wish is to reset Internet Explorer without deleting personal information, simply tap Reset.
  6. You can also check the option to Delete Personal Information.
  7. Finally, click on Close in the confirmation dialogue box.
  8. You may now close your browser, then open Internet Explorer again to check if the issue persists.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

4. Perform a clean boot environment

clean boot Windows 10

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Then, type msconfig and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Select System Configuration from the search results.
  5. Click the checkbox next to Hide all Microsoft services.
  6. Select Disable all.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click Open Task Manager.
  8. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and click Disable.
  9. Close Task Manager.
  10. Click OK in the System Configuration window.
  11. Finally, restart your computer.

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If this fails to resolve the issue, you can also try performing a clean boot of Windows 10. You just need to be signed in as an administrator on your PC to be able to access these settings.

Note that your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when performing a clean boot. However, when you start it normally, the functionality returns.

In light of all these fixes, many of which have been proven to work several times before, it goes to show that you shouldn’t feel stuck on this file download error.

Which of the above procedures worked for you? Leave your answer and any other questions or suggestions in the comments area below.


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