DOC IN A BOX: Help! Where do ‘downloads’ go on my computer?

Ever repeatedly clicked on the “download” tab over and over and over again, and can’t find the file? The Digital Docs have discovered a lot of folks don’t know where their downloaded files go.

Digital Doc Stephen Bach

How do we know? 

When we’re cleaning up computers, we often see 3,4, 5 or as many as 10 copies of the same downloaded file sitting in the “downloads” folder. Everytime you clicked “download,” another copy downloads to your computer.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to show you where those little buggers go.

The default download location (“default” meaning the place where these files go when you first purchase your computer) for files on a Mac or a PC varies depending on the operating system. Here are the default download locations for both an Apple Mac laptop or desktop, or a PC (which most likely is a Windows computer) using various browsers (how you get to the web).

On a Mac 

Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera: Downloads are saved in the “downloads” folder in the user’s home directory. On your top menu bar, the strip that stretches across the top of your desktop screen when you fire up the computer, just click on “go” and then slide down to “downloads.” Everything you download will go there.

On a PC running Windows

Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox: Downloads are saved in the “downloads” folder, which is typically located in the user’s “user” folder. Just click on the Windows symbol at the bottom of your computer (the Windows symbol is a bunch of distorted rectangles which are supposed to look like windows) and you then use your file explorer to browse to the “documents” folder. If you cannot find it, just search for “downloads” in the search box at the bottom of your computer.

Please note that these are the default locations, but you can change the download location in your browser’s settings if desired. But, if you now know where your downloads go, just leave it be!

Until next time,
Your Digital Doctor

Stephen Bach is the owner and chief of surgery at The Digital Docs in Marblehead.

Stephen Bach
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Stephen Bach is the owner and chief of surgery at The Digital Docs in Marblehead.

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