How to change settings to fix timeout errors in downloading files from the internet

Written by john heller
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How to change settings to fix timeout errors in downloading files from the internet
Download errors can make you want to destroy your computer. (computer image by blaine stiger from

Getting a timeout error when downloading files from the internet can be a frustrating experience. What can you do about this besides trying to download the file again? The best way to fix timeout errors is to change the amount of time internet Explorer waits before cancelling the download process. This can be done by editing the registry, but be careful. Editing the registry is an advanced task and can cause problems with your computer if you happen to make a mistake.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Click the "Start" button and select "Run." Type regedit into the field that appears and press "Enter." This will bring up the Registry Editor on your computer.

  2. 2

    Select the key labelled HKEY_CURRENT_USER and click the plus sign next to it. You will see a list of sub-keys; select them in the following order: "Software," "Microsoft," "Windows," "CurrentVersion," and "InternetSettings."

  3. 3

    Select "Edit" at the top of the page, then "New." Now click "DWORD Value." This will create a new DWORD registry entry called "New Value #1."

  4. 4

    Right click on the new value entry and select "Rename." Now rename the value KeepAliveTimeout, then press "Enter."

  5. 5

    Double click your new DWORD registry entry and enter the amount of time you want the browser to wait before terminating a download. Since you'll need to enter the time in milliseconds, it's good to know that 60,000 milliseconds equals one minute. Keeping this in mind, set the number as high as you like. Then click "OK" and close the registry editor. Remember to restart your computer after you have finished so your changes can take effect.

Tips and warnings

  • In the registry editor the different directories you expand and explore look similar to files, but are called Keys because they contain values and instructions your computer uses to execute tasks for the operating system.
  • Creating a registry backup is highly recommended, because editing the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems for your computer. Backups allow you to restore your previous settings if you experience an error. Microsoft provides a guide on how to backup and restore your registry (see Resources). You can also download programs like ERUNT (see Resources), which will automatically backup your registry and help you restore it.

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