Finding your downloads

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Finding your downloads

Screenshot of Google Chrome Downloads Folder

While you may spend a lot of time browsing the Web, you can also use the Internet to download files to your computer. From email attachments to photos, music, movies, applications, and more, you've probably downloaded lots of different files from the Web.

Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to locate those files after downloading them. In this lesson, you'll learn how to find your downloads easily on both Windows and Mac OS X computers.

Using the Downloads folder

By default, most computers will save downloaded files in a specific folder, known as the Downloads folder. If you're having trouble finding a downloaded file, this is the first place you should look.

Using the Downloads folder in Windows:

  • Open Windows Explorer (also known as File Explorer), then locate and select Downloads in the Navigation pane. A list of your downloaded files will appear.
    Screenshot of Windows Explorer

Using the Downloads folder in Mac OS X:

  • Locate and select the Downloads folder on the right side of the Dock. A list of your downloaded files will appear in a Stack above the folder.
    Screenshot of Mac OS X

If you don't see the Downloads folder on the Dock, you can use Spotlight to search for it. Simply click theSpotlight icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then type Downloads in the search box.

Screenshot of Mac OS X

Viewing recent downloads in your browser

You can also view downloads directly from your web browser. This is especially helpful for finding files you've downloaded recently, but it may not display every file in your Downloads folder.

We'll use Internet Explorer in the example below, but other web browsers will have similar options for viewing recently downloaded files.

  • In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon Gear icon then select View downloads from the drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Internet Explorer

Searching for files

Sometimes you may not be able to find the file you need in the Downloads folder. If you believe the file is still on your computer, you can always search for the file.

Searching for files in Windows:

  • Click the Start button, type the file name or keywords, then press Enter.
Screenshot of Microsoft Windows

If you're using Windows 8, simply navigate to the Start screen and start typing the file name.

Searching for files in Mac OS X:

  • Click the Spotlight icon, type the file name or keywords, then press Enter.
Screenshot of Mac OS X

About the author


Naved Iqbal

Mianwali Pakistan

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