Error message when you download files by using Internet Explorer 9 from secure websites: " couldn’t be downloaded"

Applies to: Internet Explorer 9


You cannot download files or to view files from a website when you connect to the site over HTTPS (secure sites) by using Internet Explorer 9. 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 of 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.

Note: For Internet Explorer 8 and earlier, please see the following KB article:


To download files, Internet Explorer must create a cache or temporary file. In Internet Explorer 9, 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.


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

Method 1

On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer 9, click Internet Options, click the Advanced tab, 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.)

Do not save encrypted pages to disk

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:

  4. Exit Registry Editor.

More Information

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
815313 Prevent caching when you download active documents over SSL