Can’t Download Anything on Windows: How to Fix It

Can’t Download Anything

Isn’t it frustrating? You try downloading a file on your Windows PC, but it always fails. The majority of users blame the network or the connection that they use. While they are not wrong, they are not completely correct either. When you can’t download anything on Windows, multiple factors are behind it. 

In this post, let’s dig deep and understand the reasons that lead to why you are unable to download anything on Windows. More importantly, we will also discuss probable solutions to the issue. 

If your PC has a similar problem, read this post until the end!

What Causes the Can’t Download Anything Situation on Windows

It is really strange to learn that a Windows PC, which is the most flexible OS, cannot download files. Sure, low internet speed, disturbed connectivity, broken download links, and server issues are common factors that may cause issues in saving a file offline. However, these factors only bother in acute cases. If everything is fine and you can’t download anything, the internet may not be the only issue!

Some of the common factors that make you unable to save files on Windows are – 

  • Internet and connectivity Issues (Obviously!)
  • Storage Issues 
  • Issues with the Source of the File (Windows Store Error)
  • Permission Errors
  • Outdated PC Drivers 
  • Corrupt System Files & Registries
  • Browser Configuration & Data Issues

The above factors may bother you if you can’t download anything on Windows. Hence, it is advised that you troubleshoot your PC for all these issues. Want to know how to fix them? Check out the next section!

How to Fix Can’t Download Anything on Windows

Now that you are aware of issues that may be bothering your downloads, let us look at ways you can resolve them. If you can’t download anything on Windows, try these basic troubleshooting hacks –

  • Restart your computer. Usually, it resets your PC’s RAM, removing any bugs causing the issue.
  • Check your internet connection. Reset if required. 
  • Ensure that Windows supports the file you are trying to download. 

If these basic troubleshooting steps did not fix the issue for you, do not worry. We have some detailed instructions on how to fix the ” PC not downloading anything”?

Read Also: Working Fixes for Internet Not Working Error on Windows PC

Fix 1 – Check Background Downloads

If you have started a heavy download in the background, like a Steam game or a video file, ensure it has finished downloading before starting a new one. A huge file can take all your bandwidth, leaving no download potential for other files. 

To fix the issue, you can try the following things – 

  1. Wait for the heavy file to finish downloading. 
  2. Pause the background download and try initiating a new download. 
  3. Try switching your connection from wireless to wired. (if you are on Wi-Fi, try connecting a LAN cable.) 

If none work, you might have to contact your ISP for a better bandwidth plan, which may cost you more.

Fix 2 – Optimize Your PC Storage

Another core reason you may be unable to save files on your PC may be the lack of storage. It is common to forget about the storage status of your PC. Sometimes, you do not realize that it is almost full of files. In such situations, You’re unable to download any files on Windows.

Now, you can either delete data to free up some space or optimize the storage to generate more space by eliminating unnecessary files on your drive. 

The good thing is that Windows comes with storage sense, making it easier to optimize your storage manually. Here are the steps to help you out – 

Step 1 – Press Windows + I to open System Settings
Step 2 – Scroll down to find Storage in the options. Click on it.

System Settings - Storage Option

Step 3 – You can find a classified storage distribution that shows what files are taking up the space.

classified storage distribution

Step 4 – Clear temporary files instantly from the option available.
Step 5 – After doing so, check out the Storage Sense option.

Storage Sense option

Step 6 – Toggle it ON and find Run Storage Sense Now to initiate content cleanup.

Automatic User Content Clean Up

Using these tools, you can free up space and make enough room for the files you want to download.

Fix 3 – Scan Your PC for Malicious Programs Using Windows Defender

Your PC may have a virus if the storage and bandwidth are available and you still can’t download anything on Windows. It can be any malicious program that may stop you from saving files offline. The ideal way to handle this issue is by using the Windows Defender. Simply follow the instructions given below!

Step 1 – Go to the Start Menu and search for Windows Security
Step 2 – In Windows Security, click on Virus & Threat Protection.

Virus & Threat Protection option

Step 3 – In the Virus & Threat Protection options, Click on Quick Scan.
Step 4 – Once the scan is over, you should check if the issue is resolved by trying to download the required file again. 

You should try running the scan multiple times to ensure no hidden files. Or you can also run a deep scan to fix the errors. However, it may take longer to finish. 

Read Also: Fix – Windows Defender Won’t Update

Fix 4 – Clear Your Browser Data

Another bothering factor can be the browser that you are using. Over time, the data collected on the browser may become a barrier between your PC and downloading files. If you have never done it before, try clearing your browser data. 

You can manually go through the tedious process of finding data settings and removing browser history, cookies, cache, etc., or use the Advanced System Optimizer to do the same more conveniently. 

For instance, you want to get rid of data from Google Chrome. You have to navigate through the following path manually.

Settings→ Privacy and Security Settings→ Clear Browser Data→  Clear Data. 

And after that, too, there are traces of the files and settings that stay behind. Now, doing the same task with Advanced System Optimizer appears super easy. 

All you have to do is – 

Step 1 – Open Advanced System Optimizer on your computer. In case you do not have it, use the link below to download it.

Step 2 – In the Advanced System Optimizer, click on Security & Privacy to find the Privacy Protector module.

security and privacy

Step 3 – In the Privacy Protector module, simply run a scan and find all the browser data accumulated in the tool.

privacy protector

Step 4 – Click on Clean, and all the data is wiped. 

The Advanced System Optimizer makes it appear effortless. Try today! This way, you can get rid of the faulty cookies, cache, and other files that may be stopping you from downloading files on Windows. 

Fix 5 – Update Drivers for Connectivity

It is necessary to keep system and device drivers updated. The network adapter driver may be responsible if the network fails while downloading a file. By updating the driver, you can get rid of the can’t download anything issue on Windows. 

Thanks to Advanced System Optimizer, you can eliminate this issue, too! The driver updater tool is one of the many hats that the tool wears to optimize your PC. You can find it directly in the left panel of the tool. 

All you have to do is –

Step 1 – Open the tool on your PC and look for Driver Updater in the left panel.

choose driver updater

Step 2 – In the Driver Updater Module, click the Start Scan button to look up all the outdated drivers on your PC. This means if the drivers for the network adapter are outdated, they will also show up in the list. 

Step 3 – Click on Update Selected Drivers to initialize the update process for the outdated drivers on your PC.

driver updater

In case you cannot find the network adapter driver, it is recommended that you update the outdated ones. 

After you have upgraded the existing drivers, try downloading the files again. Only this time, you can download them all.

Fix 6 – Turn Off Your Third-Party Firewalls

If you use a third-party protection software, disable its firewalls for a while. Usually, every protection software has its list of files they do not allow. If the file you are trying conflicts with the Antivirus program you are using, you cannot download it. 

Hence, you should disable your third-party protection software before downloading the file. Since every tool has a different way of turning it off temporarily, you might have to look up the steps in the user manual. However, right-clicking on the icon for the background process (available in the taskbar) of the application shows the option easily.

Fix 7 – Scan and Fix Corrupt Files & Registries

Other than these, you can also use Advanced System Optimizer’s Smart PC Care to fix issues at a deeper level. As one can see, corrupt system files and registries are also a cause of the inability to download files. You can easily run a scan with Advanced System Optimizer and resolve the issue quickly. Learn in-depth here

smart pc care

With the help of these scans, you can get rid of any system-based problem that may be causing the inability to download anything on Windows.

All in all, for all the issues that may be bothering your PC, Advanced System Optimizer has a solution ready. Download the tool today and make the most of your PC. That’ll be all for this post. Hope you find all the stated fixes helpful. Thanks for reading. Good Luck!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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