Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Where Did That File Go?

How To Find Your Misplaced Downloads and Files

Recent conversations have me believing that some of you are still occasionally “losing” documents, and wondering where that download you just downloaded went to. You are sure you “Saved” your work.. but now that work is “gone”.
I won’t comment on that (it is almost 2012) … but the following can help you “find” your stuff.

Downloads/”Online”: First thing to know is that your computer, when dealing with “online” material (like webpages and email) by default puts the various elements into several “temp” folders¹ (as it doesn’t know if you are just visiting, or trying to copy).

  • If you – chose “Open” (or, Run) at the download prompt, the file remains in that “temp” folder¹.
  • If you – chose “Save“, by default the file will go to your Downloads folder – which in XP is in your My Documents folder; and in Vista/Win7, is in your User folder.

So start by looking in those places¹.

Where your browser saves downloads to is a Setting you can adjust (if you should like someplace other than the Downloads folder). Go to the Tools menu and click Options (or Internet Options).

I have set my browser (Firefox) to always put my downloads on my Desktop. There I can easily find them, and then “drag ‘n drop” them to where I want them to permanently reside. You can “browse” to a folder of your own choosing; or set it to always ask you where the download should go. (Click OK to make your changes ‘stick’.)

¹ Yes. But which “temp” folder? Read on..

Files on your hard drive: It is a little different when you know the file you are looking for has been Save-ed to your computer, but now – when you need it again – you find it is not where you expected it to be.
perhaps you weren’t paying careful attention.. or just clicked Save, instead of Save as.. or, a lot of time has passed.. or..

The tool for locating files on your computer is a “Search tool” (sometimes called a “desktop search”) — which comes built-in with Windows. Or you can download and install a more powerful “desktop search”.. but start with what you have.

If you remember the name, or part of the name of the file, enter it in the Search pane, and press Enter. This should produce a list of all the files on your hard drive that contain the same letters as what you entered, and hopefully locate your ‘missing’ file. If not, you will need to apply some ‘more advanced’ Search tricks (um, er, I mean, techniques). My How To for that is here: Where Did My File Go?

Bonus: If you are unsure of the difference between Save and Save as please read this.image

Today’s reco: WOW! Free Software for Video Editing, Audio Converting, eBook Converting, Burning Discs, Archiving and to Keep You From Getting Pregnant

“What do you get when you take a hamster and mix it with FREE software?  You get HAMSTERsoft : ) ” Read more..

Today’s quote:Failure seems to be regarded as the one unpardonable crime, success as the all-redeeming virtue, the acquisition of wealth as the single worthy aim of life. The hair-raising revelations of skullduggery and grand-scale thievery merely incite others to surpass by yet bolder outrages and more corrupt combinations.” ~ Charles Francis Adams

(Love that word.. “skulduggery“.)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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October 27, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I use something called “Everything” to find my files..it’s quick as a whip, light on resources and it finds..well, everything. [url=https://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,77775/description.html]Everything Search Engine description, File Management Downloads List By 30 Day Change | PCWorld | PCWorld[/url]

    Just use as it is..don’t get “techie” on it..

    Advanced users can also tell it to act as an HTTP or ETP (Everything Transfer Protocol)/FTP server, which allows for connecting to an Everything program running on another computer using Everything (for an ETP/FTP server) or a Web browser.

    You can then both search for and download files via the remote Everything program, which can be pretty darned convenient–and also a big security risk if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t enable either server feature unless you’re sure your computer is protected by a separate firewall (not just one running on the same PC) that will prevent people on the Internet from potentially getting to your files through Everything, and make sure you tell Everything to use a strong password for either server type.”

    Hamsters?????

    Like

    Comment by delenn13 | October 29, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      Good to see you here again, and I hope you’re feeling better.

      I only recently discovered Everything, and I soon as I did I reco’d it here.

      Since Vista, and now even more so with the advent of Windows 7, I am reluctant to recommend installing Desktop Search utilities, as the built-in search is now that good.. I prefer to teach some slightly advanced search methods.
      (My motto is a lean, mean, machine. Few programs installed, the better.)

      Everything is the exception: small, fast, light.. I keep it on my thumbdrives (one of which is my keychain fob. Am I a Geek, or what?)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | October 29, 2011 | Reply


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