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Why Do Files Go To My Download Folder?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Pat writes:

I’ve enjoyed your articles and wonder if anyone else has encountered the same thing. Maybe it’s a topic for your Tech Tips. 
I use Windows 7 on my home computer.  When I get an email with an attachment, specifically a PDF file, and I click on the attachment, it goes into my “download” files which is annoying to search for if I don’t want it saved in my downloads.
I also use Windows 7 on my work computer,  but when I click the attachment, I get an option to “open” or “save”.  How can I set up my home computer to have both options? 
The difference is likely in how you receive your e-mail. If your e-mail goes into an e-mail client such as Outlook at work, many of the attachments are actually part of the e-mail. When you download the mail, they download to your device and then you can choose where to save them on your computer.

If you are using a web-based e-mail like Gmail or  you’ll see those files available as a download. Since you are viewing the e-mail online,the content must be downloaded first to be saved on your computer.


You may be able to open the file in a program like word and then choose a destination for saving  it, if you’d like to bypass the download folder.



You could also switch to an e-mail client such at Windows Live Mail if you’d like to save attachments. Even with an e-mail client, some very large files may still have to be downloaded from a cloud drive.  Many e-mail services won’t allow files over a certain size to prevent their services from becoming overloaded with large files.

~ Cynthia


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2 Responses to “Why Do Files Go To My Download Folder?”

  1. Jadesqr says:

    If I am not mistaken the following Tech Tip may be of help:

    It describes how to modify download preferences.

  2. Mike Aguilar says:

    Incorrect answer. If the person is using a webmail front-end, such as Yahoo or, in order to get the “Save To” dialog, open Properties or Settings, and select that option.

    In Firefox, it is Options, and the bottom option on the General tab.

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