How to Specify Default IE Download Directory

Have you ever downloaded a file using Internet Explorer and forgotten to specify where you wanted the file to be saved?  Although this is a minor problem, it can still be a bit of a bother.

If you would like to change the Default IE download directory so that you don’t have to keep specifying the file download location anymore, this registry tweak is perfect for you.  This tweak will allow you to change the default download directory for Internet Explorer downloads.  Your downloads will be saved to the location you specify every time.

This tweak will only work for computers that are running Windows XP.  Since this procedure requires editing the registry itself, you should remember to create a back-up before making any changes.

This tweak is fairly simple to do.

  1. Click on Start and click Run.  When the little box pops up, type in regedit.  Press enter.  This will bring up the Registry.

  2. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER on the left hand side of the box.  Once you find the folder, click on the little cross on the left to expand.

  3. Go to the Software folder and expand.
    The Microsoft folder can be found underneath.  You should also expand the Microsoft folder and look for the Internet Explorer folder.

  4. Check the right hand pane and see if there is a folder named Download Directory.

    If there is one, proceed to modifying the value name.
    You can do this by double clicking the Download Directory folder.  Once a little box pops up, you can now type in the path you want the downloads to take.

  5. An example would be D:\ Downloads

    If there isn’t a folder named Download Directory, you will have to create a new key.  This will take only a few mouse clicks.
    Create a new key by right clicking on the right hand pane of your registry.

    Select String Value.  Rename the folder to Download Directory.

    Double click Download Directory.  Another box will pop up.  Enter the path you want your downloads to take.

  6. Exit your registry and restart your PC. 

You will no longer have to go hunting for your downloaded files again.  They will be saved to the location you specified.