This answer to a question 132126 on serverfault mentions a specific product and provides a link to download an installer.

When I see a link directly to an exe should I edit out the link directly to the installer and link to the download-page or product-page? Or Should I mind my own business and assume everyone will be as parnaoid as I am and double check that the link is the official site and location instead of malware?

5 Answers 5


I would change it to point to the download page.

Why? Two reasons.

  1. Versions change. Sometime soon that link will be outdated, but the link to the download page will (probably) not.

  2. It's nice to let people read just a little from the site before downloading an exe. I'd like at least a little indication that I'm getting what I think I'm getting.


You may have your cake and eat it too.

  • Go to the official site,
  • check the download link,
  • compare with posted link
    • If not, edit accordingly,
  • Profit!

It's exactly the same reason I edit out shortened links.


A couple of times I've responded to a question by making available one of my own programs, which are generally just a free-standing executable, and post a link to the file. There is no download page, nor will there ever be one. So what should be done in such a case? Deny the poster of what might be an appropriate solution to the problem or leave the link?

  • I think it's a different case when you clearly take credit for the executable file. It's when you're generically linking to what appears to be a 3rd party site that the problem is introduced.
    – Chris S
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 13:00
  • @Chris, that makes sense. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 21:22

I think what you did was OK. The OP answered your concerns by editing the post to indicate that it was a direct link to an exe and by explaining why he linked to it the first place.

If you edit the link to point at download or product page then you might be losing vital information.

If you have enough rep you could edit the question to add something along the lines of "(this is a direct link to an exe, proceed with caution)". You could add a link to the download page as well so that people have easy access to the site.


You should change it to the download page. And just for fun change it to a scary ShadyURL[1] link!

[1] http://www.shadyurl.com -- "Don't just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening."


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