This is a problem that I have with every document library in our environment.

I have enabled the option to download a copy, for every library. When I look at the "All Items" view of a document library, I can download a copy of an individual document just fine (I highlight a document, then the tabs "FILES" and "LIBRARY" appear at the top, then I select the "FILES" tab, then I click the "Download a Copy" button).
However, if I use a different view from the same library, suddenly the "Download a Copy" button (and many other buttons) are no longer enabled.
Upon hovering over it, it says something in the lines of "This element is currently disabled", even though it worked just fine in the "All Items" view and even though I set the library to allow documents to be downloaded.

I've been searching through settings of multiple libraries and can't see why it doesn't allow some buttons to work when I'm using a view I've made myself. Even when I make an exact copy of the "All Items" view, then that view still won't even have those buttons enabled.
I have full control on all libraries, so I'm not suspecting it has to do with permissions.

Since I have absolutely no idea what might cause this, any help would be greatly appreciated!

Just to make it clear, I'm trying to find out how to download a -single- document from a library. Not how to download all documents at once. I just need the "Download a Copy" to be enabled in all my views, and would like to find out how to do so.

Not sure if this is relevant, but all my browsers (FireFox, Chrome, IE) are 32-bit versions.

  • This may be a stupid comment, but have you selected a file, enabling the control in the ribbon and start download a copy? I tried and it works an all views here...
    – Benny Skogberg
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:02
  • If I select a file, it will show two extra tabs in the ribbon ("FILES" and "LIBRARY"). Upon selecting the "FILES" tab, nearly all buttons except a few (like "New document", "New Folder" etc) are disabled. I can see them, and I can see the "Download a Copy" button, but it is disabled.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:07
  • Does "Download a copy" appear in ECB menu in those views? Also, is this the same in all browsers?
    – 404
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:25
  • It occurs in FireFox, Chrome and IE. "Download a Copy" does appear in ECB menu. Does this mean the problem is related to the ribbon?
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:31
  • It might be possible. Is any custom master page used which might contain code to disable menu from ribbon?
    – 404
    Jan 20, 2015 at 9:58

7 Answers 7


Can't give a definite answer without seeing the environment, but I would try, in order:

  1. IISReset (could be a simple caching glitch)
  2. Clear browser cache (from the F12 menu)
  3. Temporarily set the master page back to default and see if the issue recurs.
  4. Make a copy of the library and check if it recurs there
  • We did a IISReset, it fixed the problem! Never had a glitch like this before though. Thanks!
    – Magali
    Jan 26, 2015 at 9:41

Go to the view you want to be able to download a copy from:

  1. Edit the view
  2. select (check) the box called: Name (linked to document with edit menu)
  3. save and go to the view
  4. next to the document name, in the list, the edit menu appears (3 dots - ...)
  5. select the three dots and then a windown will appear
  6. on the bottom of the window you will see: Edit, Share and 3 more dots
  7. select the 3 dots again and a small menu will appear with the option to downlaod a copy

Check if you can download copies this way. Currently this work for all my views in a document library.

  • I can download copies that way, but the end user needs to be able to download it through the ribbon. It is their request to be able to download it that way.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:36
  • Is you site by any chance a wikki site? then a couple of ribbon Buttons, including download a copy, are disabled by design. Jan 20, 2015 at 11:01
  • It is a project site, but I don't think if it has to do with that. I've got about 12 sites of which some are wiki sites, but the problem occurs there too.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 11:06
  • because I came across this link Jan 20, 2015 at 11:09
  • Just noticed, none of my pages are in a Site Pages library. They are all in the Pages library.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 11:12

This is definite that the problem is with your custom master page. Try the following PoC to confirm...

  1. Create a SharePoint site with default SharePoint master page.

  2. Create a document library and upload few documents.

  3. Create a new view in the document library and check.

I have replicated the above steps and for me "Download a copy" is working for all views. This helped me to come to the conclusion that the issue is actually with your custom master page.


You are saying you select the file and the download a copy icon in the FILES tab ribbon is disabled?

This is a Standard View? What browser and version you testing with?

How about if you click on the "..." twice, does download copy show up in the dropdown?


"Does "Download a copy" appear in ECB menu in those views? Also, is this the same in all browsers? "

As you said it appears in ECB menu, please confirm following:

  1. First locate the following path C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\1033
  2. Find the file named “CORE.js”. This is the file which will run the scripts downloading option for the document library.
  3. Open the core.js file in best .js file editor and search for the function

    menuOption=CAMOpt(sm, L_DownloadACopy_Text, strAction, ""); menuOption.id="ID_DownloadACopy";

Check it is commented or not.

Also, please verify if any custom master page is used .

  • I do not have a 12 folder, only 14 and 15. In 14 there is no TEMPLATE folder, and in 15 there is no LAYOUTS folder. I'm not working directly on the server on which our SharePoint environment is hosted, I'm just a developer/designer with admin rights on the SharePoint site. I don't have admin rights over the farm.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:34
  • Also I do use a custom HTML master page, but it is only used to correctly display the menu's and such. It does not host any code that would influence the ribbon.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:35
  • You can inspect the page in developer tools in IE and check core.js content in script tag.
    – 404
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:37
  • It seems the function is not commented.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:48

Go to document library,where you will find all documents in that particular library,on right click on document which you want to download, then click on (...)"More action",In that you will find download a copy.Only that particular copy will be downloaded.

"Download a Copy can be found on "FILE" Ribbon. I tried both ways,its working fine for me

  • As I mentioned in a comment to previous answers, I know that the "Download a Copy" button can be found in the "FILE" ribbon. I also mentioned that it is disabled. Meaning I can see it, but it is greyed out and I can't click it. Also downloading it with the "..." option works, but that is not what my end users want. They explicitly desire to download a copy, using the "Download a Copy" button in the ribbon.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:54
  • Are permissions given properly? did u try other way?(by right clicking)
    – sherin
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:56
  • Right-clicking on the document does not show an option to download the document. It just does the default browser behavior for right-clicking on an element. Which is open it in a new tab, open it in a new window, save URL, copy URL, inspect element etc.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:58
  • then I guess it's permission level issue,check whether end user is given permission on the list
    – sherin
    Jan 20, 2015 at 11:03
  • End users have read permissions on the list. I checked with a dummy account, even with the dummy account I can download a copy when I'm using the "AllItems" view, but not on any other view. Permissions are supposed to be for a list or library, I've never seen them act on individual views.
    – Magali
    Jan 20, 2015 at 11:07

Recently i have encountered the same issue, hope this solution works for you,

check the permission of the user to be min contribute access at Site Level, Library Level and Item Level.

If the Permission is Ready only at Site Level , Library Level, you will not get option

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