Windows Server 2012 comes with HardAdmin feature which will restrict a lot of browsing through Internet Explorer. Since Windows Server 2012 is used mostly on servers, it is always advisable to keep browsing restricted on servers but sometimes it becomes necessary to download something on the server.
Although you can install and run a third party software like Firefox or Chrome to freely download files but it is not advisable 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.
Enabling 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 and go to its menu (pressing the Alt key will bring the menu) Tools –> Internet Options.
Go to Security tab, select Internet and press the Custom level button.
Find Downloads from the list and enable File Download option.
Now you will be able to download files in Internet Explorer in 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 be familiar 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:
start-bitstransfer -source http://source.com/file.ext -destination c:file.ext
Where http://source.com/file.ext%20is%20the%20direct%20download%20link%20to%20a%20file%20which%20c:file.ext is the local path of the file in the computer.
Although there are many other ways of downloading stuff in Windows Server but we have listed on the safer ones. If you know of any other way of downloading files which is safer than the above mentioned methods, please share with us in the comments below.