How to Open Downloads
Downloading files is one of the primary uses of the Internet. You can find virtually anything online, and chances are you’ve been downloading files ever since you started using your computer. Your Operating System will attempt to put all of your downloads in one central location, but eventually you may have downloaded files all over your computer. Knowing how to quickly find your downloaded files can save you a lot of time and headache.

Method One of Four:
Finding your Windows Downloads

1
Check your Downloads folder. Windows includes a Downloads folder that acts as the default download location for most programs for every user. There are a couple of ways you may be able to find your downloads folder:
Click the Start menu and then click your user name. You should see a Downloads folder in the window that opens.
Open Windows Explorer ⊞ Win+E. Your Downloads folder may be listed in the left frame under “Favorites” or “Computer/This PC”.
Press ⊞ Win+R and type shell:downloads. Press ↵ Enter to open the Downloads folder.

2
Check other locations. If you download with a lot of programs, chances are that your downloads have become a bit spread out. Other popular places for your downloads to appear are your Desktop and your Documents/My Documents folder.
If you have a secondary drive that acts as a file storage, check to see if you’ve created a download folder on it as well.

3
Search for the file. If you know the name of the file you downloaded, you can search for it to quickly open it. Press ⊞ Win and start typing the name of the file. You should see it appear in the search results.

4
Open your downloaded files. You shouldn’t have much difficulty opening most files that you download online, but you may run across a few file types that can give you problems. See the guides below for details on opening these troublesome files.
Playing MKV video files
Burning ISO image files
Extracting RAR files
Using BIN files
Downloading a Torrent file
Method Two of Four:
Finding Your OS X Downloads

1
Check your Downloads folder. OS X includes a Downloads folder that acts as the default download location for most programs for every user. There are a couple of ways you may be able to find your Downloads folder:
Click your Downloads folder in your Dock.
Click the Go menu and select Downloads
Open a Finder window. Press ⌥ Opt+⌘ Cmd+L to open the Downloads folder.

2
Check other locations. Downloaded files have a tendency to get spread out across your computer over time, especially if you use a lot of different programs to download. Some other popular places for your downloads to appear include your Desktop or in your Documents folder.
If you have a secondary drive that acts as a file storage, check to see if you’ve created a download folder on it as well.

3
Search for the file. If you know the name of the file you downloaded, you can search for it to quickly open it. Open a Finder window and press ⌘ Cmd+F to open the search bar. Start typing in the name of the file and select it from the search results.

4
Open your downloaded files. You shouldn’t have much difficulty opening most files that you download online, but you may run across a few file types that can give you problems. See the guides below for details on opening these troublesome files.
Playing MKV video files
Burning ISO image files
Extracting RAR files
Using BIN files
Downloading a Torrent file
Method Three of Four:
Managing Chrome Downloads

1
Open your Downloads list. You can open a list of your recent downloads in Chrome by clicking the Menu button (☰) and selecting Downloads, or by pressing Ctrl+J (Windows) or ⌘ Cmd+J (Mac).
2
Browse the list of recent downloads. Chrome stores download history for a few weeks unless it’s been cleared. Clicking any item in the list will attempt to open it (if it still exists). You can also click the “Show in folder” link to open the folder with that particular file selected.
3
Open your Downloads folder. Click the “Open downloads folder” link in the upper-right to open the folder that Chrome downloads your files to. By default, this is the Downloads folder in your user directory.
4
Change your Chrome Download folder. Click the Chrome Menu button (☰) and select Settings. Scroll down and click the “Show advanced settings” link. In the “Downloads” section, you can set a new folder for your Chrome downloads to be placed by clicking Change….
You can also choose whether Chrome should prompt you to save a file when downloading.
Method Four of Four:
Managing Firefox Downloads
1
Open your Recent Downloads list. Click the down arrow button in the top-right corner of the Firefox window. This will display your recent downloads. Clicking on a file in the list will open it (if it still exists). Clicking on the folder icon next to the file will open the folder with that particular file selected.
2
Open the Downloads Library. In the Recent Downloads list, click “Show All Downloads”. This will open the Firefox Library, with the Downloads tab selected. All of your stored downloads will be shown here. You can use the search bar to find something specific.
3
Change your Firefox Download folder. Click the Firefox Menu button (☰) and select Options. Click the “General” tab. You can change the folder that your downloads are saved to by clicking Browse…
You can also choose whether Firefox should prompt you to save a file when downloading.
You’re helping people by reading wikiHow
wikiHow’s mission is to help people learn, and we really hope this article helped you. Now you are helping others, just by visiting wikiHow.

World Possible is a Nonprofit Organization with a mission to connect offline learners to the world’s knowledge. They work to ensure that anyone can access the best educational resources from the web anytime, anywhere, even if they do not have an Internet connection.

Click below to let us know you read this article, and wikiHow will donate to World Possible on your behalf. Thanks for helping us achieve our mission of helping everyone learn how to do anything.

I want to be counted!
Community Q&A
How do I delete a file?
Answered by Pur3k0912
You can right click and delete. Afterwards you should go to your Trash and empty it. This will delete it off the main layer of the hard drive.
I know where my downloads are but it is asking me to choose an application that will open a file. What do I do? Answered by wikiHow Contributor
The file that you downloaded probably requires an additional program to open. For example, if you downloaded an .aep file, you will need to use Adobe Aftereffects to open it. If you’re unsure, try Googling “how to open [file type].”
Why must opening a downloaded file go through an app? Why can’t it go directly? Answered by wikiHow Contributor
It’s because each downloaded file is of a particular type, which is recognized and executed by a particular application designed specifically for that type of file.
How do I start typing in a form when opened? I start to put details on the form and all I get is blank where I want to put a letter or number.
Answered by Pur3k0912
The file may not be able to be edited in such way as typing over them. You may have to print it out and write in the answers.
I downloaded records from a well known paid archival site. I cannot open the file unless I open the site they were downloaded from. How can I open these without using the site? Answered by wikiHow Contributor
Try to export it to a different file format. Try .doc If you are on Windows or .gdoc if you are on ChromeOS.
What is the best default software on Windows 10 to use for downloading? Answered by wikiHow Contributor
Microsoft Edge is the newest web browser in Windows 10 that allows downloading.
Related wikiHows
How to
Check Your Chrome Downloads
How to
Open a PHP File
How to
Open a .Zip File Without Winzip
How to
Open EXE Files
How to
Resize a JPEG
How to
Check Computer Specifications
How to
Make a Zip File
How to
Access Another Computer from Your Computer
How to
Change a File Extension
How to
Copy and Paste
About This Article
Co-authors: 7
Updated: January 9, 2016
Views: 65,741
Categories: Featured Articles | Basic Computer Skills
Sources and Attribution
Is this article up to date?
Yes
No