Restarting the Microsoft Download Manager (Shouldn’t this be easier?)

Today I had the need to download something from our MSDN subscription and I decided to do it from the server I needed the file on rather than downloading it locally then transferring it to the co-located facility. The problem came up when my terminal server (RDP) session timed out and logged me off!


Logging back in after such an event does not restart the Microsoft download manager and, unfortunately, there is no shortcut that I could find to run it.

It took some research to find the solution, or at least part of it. Where is the download manager located! It turns out to be at %windir%\Downloaded Program Files\TransferMgr.exe. I found that on this post for reference.

What the post did not mention is that the folder is one of those special Windows folders. Opening it up in Windows Explorer only revealed garbled object names. Not much use there so I opened a console (cmd.exe) window and did a quick CD C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files\ followed up with DIR. It revealed my target, TransferMgr.exe. I typed in the file and it ran just fine.

Next I decided to create my own shortcut in the event that my session could be ended before completion. Uh oh, another problem! I cannot even manually enter the path into the wizard! No biggie, I simply created a shortcut to something valid, then opened the shortcut properties and manually typed the path to the download manger. From there things worked fine. I figured I should write this down so that I do not forget it at a later date.


37 thoughts on “Restarting the Microsoft Download Manager (Shouldn’t this be easier?)

  1. Thank god for you! I looked at Task Manager when it was running, got the exe name and tried to “find” it using Vista Search. Unfortunately, the only thing I “found” was how pointless Vista Search is. My Transfer Manager keeps disappearing randomly when I’m downloading something, so I needed a quicker way of bringing it back up than to keep going back into MSDN Subscriptions and clicking the download, cancelling the request when it loads and resuming the previous one. What a mess the File Transfer Manager is!!

    But thank you very much for this useful tip; I now how a nice shortcut on my task bar πŸ™‚

  2. I’d like to say thanks as well.

    Instead of spending an hour trying to figure this out, I decided to Google search and find the answer in minutes.

  3. Heh, it’s now over a year later and I just ran into this problem trying to resume my Windows 7 download. I only installed the download manager today, so this issue has been around for a while!

    Thanks for the help, but somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing this fixed in the near future!

    • I have a feeling you are right. I’ve dealt with this issue for at least 3 years on and off before I finally stumbled upon this solution. Not a high enough priority at MS I guess.

  4. One other thing…an alternate method for creating a shortcut:

    Create a mapped network drive to \\your-machine-name\c$\windows\downloaded program files

    When you do this, you can see all the files and create your shortcut. This works for most windows special folders, like the GAC.

    • Interesting tip; however when I tried to use it (using the UNC convention as you described) the shortcut still showed me the “edited” version of the folder. Is there another setting that you may have changed to accomplish it?

  5. Have you heard of problems with Microsoft’s Download Manager? I started the Windows 7 download, and the DM keeps going through a cycle of downloading for a short time, then it has to reconnect. I turned off ZoneAlarm, thinking that was the problem. I also tried it on my Win7 eval drive with the same result – I have AVG on that drive.

    • I haven’t heard of that particular issue. Have you ensured that your Windows Firewall is turned off, or perhaps your internet connection is being a bit flaky? If possible, you may try it on a different network to rule out your own connection.

    • I have the same problem. I have been downloading the Exchange Server 2010 from the Partners Download for 2 weeks now. Using the Browser, the download has terminated 12 times when the downloaded file size reaches 285 MB. This occurs on 4 different computers, with 4 different storage destinations.
      Download Manager has now been running for 18 hours and has managed to download 324 MB of a 1.04 GB file. Download speeds fluctuate wildly from 56 KB to 350 KB per second. The longest connection period is roughly 15 seconds.
      My broadband connection is a pretty stable 2Mbs down, 500 Mbs up.

  6. Thanks for the article – saved my butt! I wonder how many windows application 101 rules TransferMgr.exe breaks? πŸ™‚

  7. You can also go into File Transfer Manager, hit the “Options” button and tick the “Place application shortcut on the desktop” check box in the “Application Startup” section…works for me πŸ™‚

  8. Once you locate the filder via the command prompt, you can actually just copy the tranfermgr.exe to the c:\ and then run it from there (or create a shortcut to it from the new location).

  9. okay im having so much trouble downloading windows7 i bought the download from microsoftstore not the disc thinking it was a trusted site and i keep getting this error saying couldnt connect to server please retry later or some other bs!and then it starts from 0again…what can i do????please help me?

    • amanda,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble downloading Windows 7. I’m afraid that I”m not familiar with the Microsoft Store. Does it use the Microsoft Download manager or something else? Have you tried calling their tech support line?

      You also may want to look at this other article on fixing the background intelligent transfer service, but to be honest I don’t know if that will help you or not.

  10. it uses the microsoft download manager.but ive discovered if you download it from googlechrome its much easier with get right…but i still am unable to download it fully bummed out….

  11. I found the easiest way to continue one was to associate the .dlm file with the program c:\windows\Downloaded Program Files\Manager.exe

    then it just picked up right where it left off.


  12. It’s 2012 and still the same problem exists…thank you so much for doing this years ago. Why can’t MS just get this very simple thing right?

  13. Good point…

    As a tip… you can crΓ©ate a shortcut to any kind of file simply by drag and drop with the right button instead of with the left button.

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