I need to download third-party software from the internet to my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Windows instance, but the security configuration blocks my attempts. How can I enable downloads?

Because web browsing isn't recommended on a server, the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for Windows Server enable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration by default. This configuration disables downloading files using Internet Explorer.

However, if you want to download and install tools from the internet, you can change the security configuration to enable downloads.

Note: If you enable downloads on your EC2 Windows instance, make sure to download files only from trusted sources. Also, it's a best practice that you re-enable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (disable downloads) when you finish downloading and installing the software.

1.    Open Server Manager.

2.    Depending on the version of Windows Server your EC2 Windows instance is running, do either of the following:

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019: In the navigation pane, choose Local Server. In the Properties pane, choose the hyperlink (On) next to IE Enhanced Security Configuration.

In Windows Server 2008 R2: Under Server Summary, in the Security Information section, choose Configure IE ESC.

3.    Under Administrators, select Off, and then choose OK.

4.    Close Server Manager.

Note: The security configuration change takes effect when you open a new Internet Explorer session. If Internet Explorer is already open, open a new tab, or close the browser and re-open it.

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Published: 2019-02-06