How do I configure an EC2 Windows instance to allow file downloads using Internet Explorer?

Last updated: 2020-01-17

I need to download third-party software from the internet to my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Windows instance. The Internet Explorer security configuration is blocking my attempts. How can I enable downloads? 

Short Description

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

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, be sure to download files only from trusted sources. Also, it's a best practice to re-enable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration after downloading and installing the software.

Resolution

1. Open Server Manager.

2. Follow the instructions for the Windows Server version that your EC2 Windows instance is running:

Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019: Choose Local Server from the navigation pane. For IE Enhanced Security Configuration, choose On.

Windows Server 2008 R2: Choose Server Manager from the navigation pane. In the Server Summary - Security Information section, choose Configure IE ESC.

3. For 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 then re-open it.