Where's My Downloaded File?


Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox) handle downloads differently - and not so obviously. What happened to the file you just downloaded?

Generally:

  • Installation files (for installing software) should be saved to the hard drive first, then run from the hard drive.
  • Actual views will differ from pictures shown herein given different editions of Windows and browsers.

It's important to know what the downloads folder is and where it is located:

  • The 'downloads folder' is, as its name implies, a folder on the computer where downloads are stored. If you download a file and can't find it, look in the downloads folder by...
  • ...clicking on Start, then the Username (found under the user's image, like 'Administrator' in this example):

    image

Internet Explorer

This browser isn't as mysterious as the other two. The download process starts with this at the bottom of the screen...

image

(The actual appearance will differ with different editions of the browser. It is possible that the bottom of the browser screen is not viewable. Click on the Windows Maximize Button.)

">

Choosing 'Save' will save the file to your Downloads folder (which can be found by clicking on Start and typing Downloads).

When the download completes, this message will appear...

image

...providing an easy option to then run the installation file (or open the downloads folder or view downloads). Choose 'Run' to install the software. To learn a little about your computer, click on 'Open folder', observe where the downloads folder is located (for future reference) and run the installation from there by double clicking on the downloaded file.

Google Chrome

Not so obvious what's happening here - especially if the bottom of the browser window is not in view. Click on the Windows Maximize Button to make the entire browser window viewable.

image

Look for the button representing the downloaded file in the lower-left corner:

image

As a matter of explanation, at this point, Chrome has completed the download and has placed the downloaded file in your downloads folder. Click on the down arrow (shown in the image above) to see options for running the installation file (Open) or going to the downloads folder ('Show in folder').

Otherwise, just click on the button to run the installation file.

Firefox

If you're not familiar with Firefox, downloading is also a mystery. It's necessary to know that this down arrow:

image

...is a means of locating the downloads folder.

The pop-up window required clicking on its border to activate the 'Save File' button (but that may not be the experience on other computers):

image

After clicking on Save, the 'download arrow' turned into somewhat of a small 'progress bar':

image

It was necessary to Click on the down arrow again (when it reverted to an arrow) and click on the downloaded file to start the installation.