Why Won't My Computer Download Anything From the Web Anymore?

By Ed Oswald

Connection issues prevent reliable Web downloading.
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Browsers that suddenly experience issues with downloading files either from a website, or stop working altogether, typically signal a issue with either your company's Internet connection or settings. Troubleshoot these issues first, but don't forget to run an anti-virus scan if that doesn't work. Some viruses and malware cause these disruptions too.


Determine if the problem is localized to one web address. If you cannot download or connect to a single website, that site's web server is likely down and your business Internet connection is not the problem. If the Internet is down completely, ensure your modem and router are on and functioning normally. This may require resetting both devices to restart the connection. If you're using wireless Internet, check the signal strength. Poor signal strength will prevent your computer from connecting to the company network.

Proxies and Firewalls

If you connect to the Web through a proxy server, the proxy server itself may be down and preventing the download. Try connecting to the Web with the proxy server disabled (if possible). Incorrectly set up firewalls can also cause issues. In your firewall software, make sure no settings are active that might block downloads. Temporarily disabling the firewall will allow you to diagnose whether or not this is the source of your connection woes.

Internet Settings

Incorrect Internet settings within Windows also cause problems. Try resetting these settings to their default state. Open "Control Panel," and select "Network and Internet." Click on "Internet Options," and then the "Advanced" tab. Towards the bottom of the window, click on the "Reset" button. Check "Delete personal settings," and click "Reset." Open up Internet Explorer after completing these steps, and test the changes by loading any Web page.


Malware may disrupt your Internet connection if your computer becomes infected, so try installing and running anti-virus software to check for infections. If your connection is completely cut off, you may need to download the software from a working PC and transfer it to the potentially infected computer with removable media, such as a CD, DVD, or flash drive. After the scan, restart your computer and test the connection by opening up your Web browser.