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Internet Explorer 11 Download Manager and Pinned Sites

How to use Internet Explorer 11 Download Manager and Pinned Sites in Windows 7 and 8.1

By . Last modified: 2013-11-11.

The following tutorial applies to Desktop version of Internet Explorer 11. Modern UI/Metro version is covered in a separate guide.

Just like Internet Explorer 10, version 11 has Download Manager for managing completed and ongoing downloads; and Pinned Sites with the ability of using different tasks via Taskbar icon, such as opening main links, displaying notifications, checking unread e-mail count, etc.

Using Internet Explorer 11 Download Manager

You can open Download Manager using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J or by clicking Tools button (keyboard shortcut Alt+X) and clicking View downloads.
Internet Explorer 11. To open Download Manager, click Tools button and select 'View downloads'.

After you click a download link on a web page, a Notification Bar appears on the bottom of Internet Explorer window.
For executable files (having file extensions like .exe or .msi), you can click Run to launch the program automatically after download is complete. Note that this will save the file into Temporary Internet Files folder, not your default Downloads folder.
Click Save to put the downloaded file to your default download folder, typically a folder named Downloads in your user profile folder.
You can also choose not to download the file by clicking Cancel.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar for executable files (programs). You can launch the program automatically after download is complete by clicking Run. You can also save the file to your default download location by clicking Save.

For non-executable files (such as documents, spreadsheets, etc), the Run button is replaced by Open button.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar for documents. You can open a document automatically after download is complete by clicking Open. You can also save the document to your default download location by clicking Save.

Other options are available by clicking the down arrowhead button on the right side of Save button. Let's see the options for programs (executable files) first.
Save as allows saving the file to a different location than the default Downloads folder.
Save and run saves the file to your Downloads folder and then launches the program.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar for executable files (programs). Other saving options are available by clicking the down arrowhead on the right side of Save button. 'Save as' saves the file to a different folder; 'Save and run' saves the file to the default Downloads folder and then launches the program.

For documents, the Save and run command is again replaced by Save and open.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar for documents. Other saving options are available by clicking the down arrowhead on the right side of Save button. 'Save as' saves the document to a different folder; 'Save and open' saves the document to the default Downloads folder and then opens it.

You will see download progress and estimated time until the download is complete in the same Notification Bar after selecting an action to perform.
To see the new Download Manager, click the View downloads button or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J.
You can also stop the download temporarily by clicking Pause, or cancel the download.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar. Click 'View downloads' to open Download Manager.

In Download Manager (or View and track your downloads window) you have a list of ongoing and completed downloads. Downloads are kept on the list even after you close Internet Explorer - this allows seeing complete download history.
You can do the same things here - pause or cancel a download still in progress, open downloaded documents and run downloaded files.
Note that Download Manager displays the source server/domain name for all downloads under file name.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). Here are all completed and running downloads.

In case you chose to save a file or a document, Notification Bar becomes active after the download is complete. Note the new button - Open folder - here. Clicking it will open the folder where the downloaded file or document is.
Internet Explorer 11, download Notification Bar. After saving a file or a document, you will have an option to open the folder where the file or document is stored.

Back in Download Manager, you now have option to run the downloaded program or open the downloaded document. For documents, you also have an option to open the file with a non-default program by clicking the down arrowhead on the right side of Open button and clicking Open with.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). To open a dowloaded document file with a different program, click the down arrowhead mark on the right side of Open button. Then select Open with.

To search for a downloaded file or program, type a part of the name into Search downloads box. The search is case-insensitive ("M" and "m" make no difference) and typing "format" finds FileFormatConverters.exe, Formation.pdf and opendocumentformat.odf.
This makes searching by file types easy, just type "pdf" to find all Acrobat Reader documents, "exe" to find all programs, etc.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). To find a download, type a part of the name into Search downloads box.

The link in Location column opens the folder where the downloaded program or document resides.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). To open the folder where the downloaded file is, click the link in 'Location' column.

To remove an entry for a download from the View and track your downloads list, click the X mark in the right corner of the entry. This will not delete the downloaded file, just the entry in the list!
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). To remove an entry for a download from the list, but keep the file, click the X mark in the right corner of the entry.

If you right-click a downloaded program, you will have several options.
Delete program will delete the downloaded program file and remove the entry from Download Manager list.
Copy download link will copy the link to Windows Clipboard. You can then paste the link to Internet Explorer Address Bar or some document using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V or by selecting Paste command from Edit menu.
Go to download webpage will open the web page for the downloaded program in Internet Explorer.
Open containing folder will open the folder where the downloaded program is.
Report that this program is unsafe will open a Microsoft webpage for reporting phishing websites and unsafe downloads. Use this option only if your anti-virus or anti-malware program detects the download as virus or malware.
Rerun security checks on this program will check for viruses and malware using Internet Explorer's SmartScreen Filter. This will not launch your anti-virus or anti-malware program!
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). Right-click options for a downloaded program.

Right-click options for documents are the same, but the word "program" is replaced with "file", so changed entries become Delete File, Report that this file is unsafe and Rerun security checks on this file.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). Right-click options for a downloaded document or non-executable file.

On the bottom of View Downloads window there is an additional link and two buttons.
Internet Explorer 11, View and track your downloads (Download Manager). 'Options' link allows changing default download location. 'Clear list' removes all entries in View Downloads list.

Options link allows you to change Windows' default location for downloaded files and documents. Normally, all files and documents are saved to Downloads folder in your user profile folder. Click Browse... to select a different folder for downloads.
Clearing the Notify me when my downloads are complete check box will disable Notification Bar for completed downloads. This suits for those users who don't like Internet Explorer window activating each time a download is complete. You can still manage downloads using Download Manager after clearing the check box.
Internet Explorer 11, Download Options. Click 'Browse' to change default download location.

Clear list clears all download entries on the list (download history).
Close button hides the View Downloads window.

Using Pinned Sites in Internet Explorer 11

Pinned Sites allows using special features such as notifications, quick links, unread e-mail count, etc for sites that support pinning. Please be aware that you can pin any site, but not all sites offer additional features.

Pinned Sites appear on either on Taskbar or Start screen. If you open a pinned site, it will have a separate icon on Windows Taskbar, no matter how many other Internet Explorer windows you have open.

There is also a Go to pinned sites command in Tools menu of Internet Explorer 11. This opens iegallery.com with a list of sites that provide good user experience with site pinning.
Internet Explorer 11, Tools menu. 'Go to pinned sites' opens a list of recommended sites that offer best user experience.

Pinning sites to Taskbar

To pin a site to Windows Taskbar, move mouse pointer onto site's icon (aka Favicon) in Address Bar. You will see a tip with text "Drag to taskbar to pin site".
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. To pin a site to Taskbar, drag site's icon in Address Bar to Taskbar.

Now click and hold mouse button (the left one) and drag the icon to Windows Taskbar. Then release the mouse button.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. To pin a site to Taskbar, drag site icon from Internet Explorer Address Bar to Windows Taskbar.

The site will then lauch automatically in a new Internet Explorer window. Note how Back and Forward buttons change color.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. Outlook.com launched as a Pinned Site. Note that Back and Forward buttons have changed their color to site color.

You can now find the site's button on Taskbar whether it is open or not.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. Outlook.com pinned to Taskbar.

If you right-click site icon on Windows Taskbar, you will see different actions provided by the site.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. Right-clicking a pinned site icon on Windows Taskbar will open special links and features if the site supports these.

To remove a pinned site from Taskbar, right-click its icon and select Unpin this program from taskbar.

Pinning sites to App list in Windows 8.1

To pin a site to Start screen, click Tools button (or use keyboard shortcut Alt+X) and select Add site to Apps.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. To pin a site to Start screen, click Tools button and click 'Add site to Apps'.

Add site to Apps window appears. Click Add.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites, Add site to Apps. Click Add.

Internet Explorer 11 will relaunch after this and Back and Forward buttons will take colors from the site.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. Outlook.com launched as a Pinned App.

If you right-click site icon on Windows Taskbar, you will see actions provided by the site.
To add the site to Taskbar permanently, click Pin this program to taskbar.
Internet Explorer 11, Pinned Sites. Right-clicking a pinned site icon on Windows Taskbar will open special links and features if the site supports these.

To open a pinned site next time, open Start screen and click the All apps button (the ring with arrow pointing down).
Windows 8.1, Start screen, All apps. Click a pinned site to launch it.


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