Since several weeks I noticed that when downloading files from the internet, after clicking a file to download – it took up to a minute before the “Open/Save/Cancel” golden bar appeared.
Very frustrating if you quickly want to download something.

The first troubleshooting step was to launch Internet Explorer 9 without any add-ons using “iexplore –extoff”. Internet Explorer reported it was running without add-ons:

After testing, the problem still occurred, it took exactly 54 seconds between the moment you clicked a file to download and the moment the dialog would appear:

54 seconds before the golden bar to appear

Now it was time to start Procmon, I downloaded the latest version from and started a new process monitor session and limited the process to “iexplore.exe”

Shortly after capturing the events I initiated a download in Internet Explorer 9, just after the download dialog to appear I stopped capturing events.

I could see some delays in the trace but at first it wasn’t obvious what was causing them. After browsing through the events I noticed several references to UNC locations:

Notice the UNC locations


As you can see in the picture above, Internet Explorer was trying to reach my Mediacenter PC.
My mediacenter wasn’t powered on and therefore a “BAD NETWORK PATH” was logged. However – my main question was “Why is Internet Explorer looking for these locations at all?”

The default download folder for IE9 is a folder on my local drive, therefore I was wondering why IE9 was looking in places I – probably – previously downloaded files to.

A quick search through the Windows Registry didn’t reveal this information to be stored anywhere. That’s when I had a look in the “Download History” in IE9, you can access this by hitting CTRL-J. In my case it took another 54 seconds before the download history dialog to appear. This is where I could see the references to my Mediacenter PC.

After clearing the list I tested the download functionality and this time it the golden bar would appear immediately.
Thanks to Procmon we now know that IE9 tries to reach to previous download locations, including UNC locations to unreachable machines.

Another case closed thanks to Procmon.

5 Responses to “The case of the slow IE9 – Golden Bar”

  1. Andrew T Says:

    This has been driving me crazy
    Thank you so much
    Turned out to always be looking for a USB attached portable drive that was obviously seldom there
    Stupid Stupid IE9 🙂

  2. Jeremy Says:

    This has been driving me crazy for quite a while and I have tried several times to search for a solution without luck.

    Thank you Pieter and your golden bar!

  3. Steve K Says:

    Thanks Pieter. Procmon does it again!

    I had a UNC path in the name from another server that requires additional authentication to reach. It got so bad I couldn’t even get the golden bar to come up until I would open the download history myself.

  4. Tank Says:


    I have been looking for a fix for this for so long. It’s just amazing how simple the fix is once you find it. Thanks a million.

  5. Nauman Mysorewala Says:

    Thanks for this tip. It fixed my issue which has been bugging me like crazy

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