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The Downloads Folder ...


Mrs. Muddled
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When I get notice that there is a new update for some program I have on my computer ... I download it and assume it finds its way to whatever program needs updating.

 

That file apparently goes to my downloads folder.

 

My question is: When I see all those .exe files in that downloads folder I realize I have assumed that those updates "automatically" updated whatever program they were associated to and I need take no further action.

 

Am I correct ... or are all those .exe files in the downloads folder waiting for me to activate them?

 

I just delete them assuming they are superfluous.

 

Yes, I realize I am probably confirming how totally clueless I am about some things to do with this computer!

 

Deal with it! My brain is old!rolleyes1.gif

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Those are most likely files waiting for you to do something with.

 

Many programs today have an "update" feature (often in the help menu) which when you click on them can initiate an update process, but if it´s an exe file that is downloaded to a folder it usually needs some sort of manual action.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What is the full path of that "Downloads" folder?

It is Desktop - my name - downloads

 

Sorry for the delay in answering. Must have been one of those brain freeze things.

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It is Desktop - my name - downloads

Not sure about Vista, but in XP, C:\Documents and Settings\Desktop\YourName\downloads would not normally be able to exist, but C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Desktop\downloads could.

 

When I get notice that there is a new update for some program I have on my computer ... I download it and assume it finds its way to whatever program needs updating. That file apparently goes to my downloads folder.

Most of the programs on your computer have an update method, but your programs came from many different manufacturers, and the update methods will not be the same for all of them. It is likely that one of them might have created the \downloads folder for its use, but it is not likely that all your programs use that folder for their updates.

 

My question is: When I see all those .exe files in that downloads folder I realize I have assumed that those updates "automatically" updated whatever program they were associated to and I need take no further action.

Most programs show status reports on the screen while they do their update. They tell you what they're doing, often tell you whether the update was successful, and tell you if there is anything further you need to do, such as restart the computer. Be sure to read those screens as they occur. If you pay attention to them "in the moment", you won't have to wonder later what the update did.

 

I just delete them assuming they are superfluous.

I would recommend deleting files only when you do know specifically what they are and you do know that they are obsolete or not needed. Otherwise, you should normally leave them alone. There are likely more than 100,000 files on your computer, and you probably don't know what 99,000 of them are. Deleting some of them because they look like clutter can result in malfunctioning programs, lost user settings, corrupted user profiles, and, in the worst case, Windows itself becoming corrupted and unable to run properly or at all. (The same don't-delete policy is also a good one in a website.)

 

If you hadn't deleted them, one way to find out what some of those files were would have been to copy down the exact names and do a web search on them, or post the names here and ask what they might be.

 

I know that doesn't truly answer your question, but the only way to find out what that downloads folder is really for will be to wait until another file shows up there and research it before you delete it.

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