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When I click the Download button, nothing happens

When I click the Download button, nothing happens – Can you help?

Celeste StewartWhen downloads fail to launch, there's usually a reason. If you can find out the reason, then you can usually work around it. Among the more common reasons for download failures where nothing happens include ActiveX restrictions, Web browser security restrictions, computer privilege restrictions, and mistakes on the Web page itself (such as an incorrect link).

First, many Internet download files use ActiveX for the download and installation process. Unfortunately, ActiveX has a bad reputation and has been used for malicious programming to the point where most computers are set up to block ActiveX content. Normally, if the computer has this setting enabled, a small installation information message bar appears in the browser window. The message bar is easy to overlook. Typically, the bar will say something along the lines of, "This Web site wants to install the following. . . if you want to install it, click here." Once clicked, a sub-menu appears giving you options to install the ActiveX control or learn more. If you trust the site, then allowing the ActiveX control should enable the download process to continue.

Another possible cause involves the Web browser's security settings. Go into the Tools menu of Internet Explorer and choose Properties followed by the Security tab. If your settings are too high, downloads may be blocked. Click on the Custom button and look at the settings related to ActiveX controls as well as Downloads. It's possible that your Web browser is blocking certain types of ActiveX controls. In addition, it could be blocking all downloads. Adjust your Web browser's settings and try downloading again.

If your computer is a company owned computer or you are not the primary user with administrative privileges, then it is also possible that the user account that you are using does not have download privileges. In addition, Windows Parental Controls or a similar program may be activated on your computer along with downloading restrictions. Similarly, if you are using the Guest account, you won't be able to download or install programs. In addition, if you have an Internet Security suite installed on your computer, there may be security settings that are set to block downloads.

Finally, it's entirely possible that the Web site itself has an error in the download link. The link may be incorrect or it could point to a different source that is experiencing technical difficulties. If you can download programs from other Web sites and are confident that your computer's settings aren't blocking the download, it could be a problem with the download link. Try hovering your mouse over the download button. You should see a web address displayed in the lower "status bar" area of your browser. Try typing that address in your address bar directly rather than clicking the button.

Because of the risks associated with downloading programs, computers have all kinds of settings to protect the computer. Unfortunately for users, this sometimes makes it tough to download legitimate programs.

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