How to allow Chrome to download exe or msi as of 2016

If like me, you suddenly found yourself unable to download any executables or Microsoft installers with the latest Chrome update in the last year or two, I have finally found what the fix is.

For the longest time I just took Google’s word that there was no workaround to this issue once they removed the ability to essentially whitelist attachment types.  I did spend some time to see if there was a workaround, but it seemed that there was no way around it.  While cruising the interwebs today, I once again ran into the download issue and decided I was actually going to make a concerted effort to see if there was a way I could actually get around this bullshit.

My first stop was to see if there were any registry settings I could change that would allow me to download or white-list any attachments. I ran several searches and tried to see if my search term mojo could crack the code. After a little while, I decided this was a dead end, as there were very little things to adjust that seemed remotely close to what I was looking for.

My second step was to see if there was a Group Policy Template I could download that would allow me to modify the settings I wanted. This is where I found my first piece of luck. I did find a good Admin template that allowed me to re-enable attachment white-listing. Huzzahh!!!  So with great joy I downloaded it, of course not using Chrome, installed it, configured it and bam, doesn’t work. WTF!

I couldn’t believe it. Those bastards at Google really covered their bases. Then I remembered an instance not too long ago, where I was having an issue with something in Windows, completely non-browser related, and the fix was to modify IE settings, which made absolutely no sense at the time. I wondered if I changed the IE download settings, if it would somehow effect the Chrome download options. It was a long shot at best, but when you run out of logical technical reasons that should have fixed the problem, it’s time to put on your swim trunks and jump into the long shot pond and just hope you strike gold there.

Is this really the solution?

I log into Internet Explorer, configured the two settings that allow file downloads, and then test. To my utter surprise, it worked. I couldn’t believe it.  After all this time, this inconceivable change to a completely non-related browser, made it so I could download any .exe or .msi without Chrome blocking it.  Obviously, Microsoft has integrated IE more deeply into OS functions then meets the eye.

So without further ado, here is how you enable Chrome to allow downloads of EXE or MSI, etc…

You cannot download any file if the “File download” option is disabled in the Internet security settings. Follow these steps to check the Internet security settings:

As any FYI, I have only tried this on Windows 10.  It may not work with other OS versions.

  1. Start the Internet Properties window.
    Windows 7

    1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then open the Accessories folder.
    2. Click Run.
    3. Type inetcpl.cpl, and then click OK.

    Windows 8

    1. From the Start screen, type inetcpl.cpl, and then press Enter.
  2. In the Internet Properties window, click the Security tab, click the Ineternet zone (globe icon), and then click the Custom level button.
  3. In the Security Settings window, scroll down to Downloads > File download.
  4. Click to select Enable.
  5. Scroll down the list further to Miscellaneous > Launching applications and unsafe files.
  6. Click to select Prompt (recommended).
  7. Click OK.

 

 

Here’s the MS KB that explains it as well

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/883260

 

 

Hopefully this helps anyone else who was as frustrated as I was.

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