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Downloading 101

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by | Filed Under: I've Always Wanted To Know..., Using The Internet

We get quite a few calls asking for help with downloading files, but it’s really pretty simple. A download can be anything from an eBook to a program. Each browser does it a little differently, so I’m going to give an example from each of the major browsers.

Most of the time when you download something from a website, you have to click on a link or a button. This will vary depending on what you are downloading. A word of warning: be careful what you are clicking on. First and foremost, look to download files from the site they were created on, rather than a site like download .com or softpedia .com. If you choose somewhere else or are not careful, you may unknowingly install programs onto your computer. Also, look carefully at what you are clicking on, sometimes other buttons will pop up to try to suck you into downloading.  For example, in this screen shot you can see 3 spots that look like you can download the software Avast.  However, only the Download Now link is for Avast, the other two are for another program.


Once you’ve found the download link, and clicked on it, each browser will do something a little different.

In Internet Explorer, you’ll see a bar pop up at the bottom of the screen. Typically, you’ll want to click on Save. This will save the file to your Downloads folder. However, if you want to change the location where it saves, click the arrow beside Save, and you can choose to save it to a different location.




While the file is downloading, you’ll be able to see the progress of the download, and an estimated time of completion. Then, the bar will change to show the download is finished. Click open the file, and you’ll be able to view or install whatever you downloaded.


In Firefox, a box will pop up in the middle of the screen. Again, click on Save, and the file will save to your downloads folder.




As it is downloading, you’ll see a little bar up in the top right corner that will give you an estimated time left, and will change to an arrow when it’s done. Click the arrow, and it will show you the downloaded file, along with any other recently downloaded files. You can then view or install the file from there.


In Google Chrome, you’ll see a bar down at the bottom that shows the status of the download.


Once you start the download, you’ll see that you will also get a count down to finish. Once the download is finished, simply click on that file and it will open or install from there. Keep in mind, this may take a few seconds to open, depending on the file size.  You can also choose Show all downloads, on the right side of the screen, and click Open Downloads folder to view all your downloaded files.

~ Audra

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5 Responses to “Downloading 101”

  1. Jerry says:

    Why did you not include AOL in this article?

  2. Merna says:

    I always choose Save over Run when downloading files.

    Wherever I have downloaded them from, I also ALWAYS right-click on the downloaded .exe file and scan it with my antivirus before clicking on it to run or install.

    I’m surprised this article did not include that as another “word of warning”.

  3. […] your Downloading 101 article, you showed how to download from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox, but not from AOL. […]

  4. […] when you download a file, you’ll have a window or bar pop up asking if you want to Open the file or Save the […]

  5. Natalie says:

    I too have AOL and would like to be able to do many of the things you talk about, but you never include AOL. Many of us still use AOL. Please include this in the future.
    Thank you.

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