"Couldn't be downloaded" error when downloading files from secure websites in Internet Explorer 9 and later versions

Important

The Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022 (for a list of what's in scope, see the FAQ). The same IE11 apps and sites you use today can open in Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer mode. Learn more here.

This article provides information about resolving the Couldn't be downloaded error that occurs when you try to download files by using Internet Explorer 9 or a later version.

Original product version:   Internet Explorer 9 and later versions
Original KB number:   2549423

Symptoms

You cannot download files or view files from a website when you connect to the site over HTTPS (secure sites) by using Internet Explorer 9 or a later version. For example, you visit a secure website such as a bank or other financial institution and try to download or view a PDF file. The file does not appear in Internet Explorer and you may see an error message similar to the following:

Error message 1

Internet Explorer Cannot Download

Error message 2

<Filename> couldn't be downloaded

This problem occurs if the Do not save encrypted pages to disk option in Internet Explorer is selected.

Cause

To download files, Internet Explorer must create a cache or temporary file. In Internet Explorer 9 or a later version, if the file is delivered over HTTPS, and any response headers are set to prevent caching, and if the Do not save encrypted pages to disk option is set, a cache file is not created. Therefore, the download fails.

Resolution - Method 1

To fix this issue, first try method 1. If method 1 fails, go to method 2.

  1. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer 9 or a later version, click Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab.
  2. Click to clear the check mark from the Do not save encrypted pages to disk check box in the Security area, and then click OK. (This is the default Internet Explorer setting.)

Screenshot of the Internet Options window. Under Security, Do not save encrypted pages to disk check box is cleared.

Resolution - Method 2

  1. Start Registry Editor.

  2. For a per-user setting, locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

    For a per-computer setting, locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

  3. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following value:
    BypassSSLNoCacheCheck=Dword:00000001

  4. Exit Registry Editor.