I have a website where users can download some files.

My question is, what message should I write when the download starts?

Note that it is impossible for me to know when the download has actually completed. I therefore cannot change the message from "Your files are downloading" to "Download has completed", which is what I was hoping to do.

  • I think this is highly depends on context. How and where is the message displayed and can you tell anything about what is being download? Is it always the same or are download within a certain category or can it completely anything?
    – Ruudt
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 8:20
  • The user chooses which files to download and then clicks a "Download" button. The files are their own files, which we store for them. The message is displayed when the user clicks "Download". It doesn't have to be a message, but I want the user to know that, yes, you clicked the button, and now stuff is happening.
    – user295469
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


In my experience, most users do not really care what message they get after they started to download something, because the download is already handled by the browser and they can navigate somewhere else or close the tab.

Instead, you should eliminate the potential errors. For example: "Click Here If Your Download Doesn't Start Automatically". If this message appears, they'll know that the process has started. It is simple, effective and easy to understand.

  • Thanks! I went with "Your download should now start automatically." (I have no click-action if downloading doesn't start.)
    – user295469
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 8:27
  • It should, but what if not? So you're not sure? ;) > "The download will start automatically." < I think this message is less ambiguous. Try to A/B test these sentences. The result can really tell that which works better in your system. ;) Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 14:55

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