Windows Server 2012 has a HardAdmin feature that restricts a lot of browsing through Internet Explorer. Since Windows Server 2012 is mostly used on servers, it is always recommended to keep browsing restricted on servers, but sometimes it becomes necessary to download something on the server.
Although you can install and run third party software like Firefox or Chrome to freely download files, it is not recommended to do so on production servers because of security reasons. In this article, we will discuss two safe ways to download files in Windows Server 2012 without disabling HardAdmin.
How to enable file downloads in Internet Explorer
For a simple solution, you can enable file downloads through the Internet in Internet Explorer which will allow you to download any type of file through Internet Explorer while HardAdmin remains enabled and all other security features remain applied. To enable the file download option in Internet Explorer, follow the instructions below:
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Go to File Menu –> Tools –> Internet Options.
- In the Internet Options window, select Security tab
- Select Internet zone and press the Custom level button.
- Find Downloads from the list and select Enable under File download.
- Press OK –> Apply –> OK.
You can now download files from Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2012.
Downloading files using PowerShell
There is another easier way to download files without even using Internet Explorer. If you have ever used Linux, you must familiarize yourself with utilities like wget which are command line tools for downloading files from the Internet. Windows provides the same functionality using PowerShell by default. To download anything using PowerShell, you will need the following PowerShell command:
Import-Module bitstransfer start-bitstransfer -source http://source.com/file.ext -destination c:file.ext
Where http://source.com/file.ext is the direct download link to a file, which c:file.ext is the local path of the file in the computer.
Although there are many other ways to download stuff in Windows Server, we have listed on the safer ones. If you know of any other way of downloading files safer than the above, please share with us in the comments below.