The following tutorial applies to the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 11. The Modern UI/Metro version in Windows 8.1 is covered in a separate guide.
Internet Explorer 11 has Download Manager for managing completed and ongoing downloads; and Pinned Sites with the ability to use different tasks via Taskbar icon, such as opening main links, displaying notifications, checking unread e-mail count, etc.
You can open Download Manager using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J or by clicking/tapping the Tools button (keyboard shortcut Alt+X) and clicking View downloads.
After you click a download link on a web page, a Notification Bar appears on the bottom of the Internet Explorer window.
For executable files (having file extensions like .exe or .msi), you can click Run to launch the program automatically after the download is complete. Note that this will save the file into the 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.
For non-executable files (such as documents, spreadsheets, etc), the Run button is replaced by the Open button.
Other options are available by clicking the down arrowhead button on the right side of the 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.
For documents, the Save and run command is again replaced by Save and open.
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 the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J.
You can also stop the download temporarily by clicking Pause, or cancel the download.
In Download Manager (or View and track your downloads window) you have the list of ongoing and completed downloads. Downloads are kept on the list even after you close Internet Explorer to allow seeing the complete download history.
You can do the same things as above 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 the file name.
In case you chose to save a file or a document, the 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.
Back in Download Manager, you now have the 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 the Open button and clicking Open with.
To search for a downloaded file or program, type a part of the name into the 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.
The link in the Location column opens the folder where the downloaded program or document resides.
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!
If you right-click or tap and hold a downloaded program, you will have several options.
Delete program will delete the downloaded program file and remove the entry from the Download Manager list.
Copy download link will copy the link/URL to Windows Clipboard. You can then paste the URL to Internet Explorer Address Bar or some document using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V or by selecting the Paste command from the 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 labels the download as a 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 security software!
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.
On the bottom of the View Downloads window, there is an additional link and two buttons.
The Options link allows you to change Windows' default location for downloaded files and documents. Normally, all files and documents are saved to the 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 checkbox will disable the Notification Bar for completed downloads. This suits for those users who don't like the Internet Explorer window activating each time a download is complete. You can still manage downloads using Download Manager after clearing the checkbox.
Clear list clears all download entries on the list (download history).
The Close button hides the View Downloads window.
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 while you can pin any site, not all of them offer additional features.
Pinned Sites appear on either on Taskbar, Start screen, or Start menu. 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 the Tools menu (press Alt key once to reveal menus) of Internet Explorer 11. This opens iegallery.com with a list of sites that provide good user experience with site pinning.
To pin a site to Windows Taskbar, move the mouse pointer onto the site's icon (aka Favicon) in Address Bar. You will see a tip with the text "Drag to taskbar to pin site".
Now click and hold the mouse button (the left one) and drag the icon to Windows Taskbar. Touchscreen owners can just touch and hold their finger on the icon and then drag it. Then release the mouse button or lift your finger.
The site will then launch automatically in a new Internet Explorer window. Note how the Back and Forward buttons change color.
You can now find the site's button on Taskbar whether it is open or not.
If you right-click or touch and hold the site icon on Windows Taskbar, you will see different actions provided by the site.
To remove a pinned site from Taskbar, right-click its icon and select Unpin this program from taskbar.
To pin a site to the Start screen (Windows 8.1) or Start menu (Windows 10), click the Tools button (or use keyboard shortcut Alt+X) and select Add site to Apps.
Add site to Apps window appears. Click Add.
Internet Explorer 11 will relaunch after this and Back and Forward buttons will use the main colors from the site.
If you right-click the 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.
To open a pinned site next time, open the Start screen or Start menu and click the All apps button (in Windows 8.1, it is the circle with an arrow pointing down).