Often my clients don’t realize a big piece of their “virtual pie” is eaten up by the items in their downloads folder. These files are duplicates likely downloaded then saved elsewhere on the hard drive.
How to access Downloads on a Mac
The Downloads folder is easily accessed from Finder’s sidebar. If you don’t see it under Favorites, go to Finder > Preferences, and turn it on in the Sidebar tab. You can also quickly get to it from Go > Downloads (Option+Command+L).
Managing your downloaded files on a Mac
The Downloads folder can become a messy mix of semi-abandoned files and items you actually need. You might download music from Amazon but then import it into iTunes, making the original downloads redundant. Perhaps these files will end up nestled with app installers, PDF copies of bills you need for your taxes, photos a friend sent you in an email attachment, and other accumulated documents you haven’t yet got around to filling properly.
Take 5 minutes to clean out this folder! Decide for yourself which files you need to locate to their proper folder and which items are duplicates you can delete. If there are any Installers or Executable files those can be deleted without hesitation as they are one time use files to install new softwares you added to your machine. Do this each month and you will keep your RAM usage low and your computer running much faster!
How to access Downloads on a PC
The Internet browser you use when downloading a file can determine where the file is saved. Most browsers save a file to a Downloads folder in your User profile folder on your computer.
Tip: The fastest way to view your recent downloads in Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera, is to press Ctrl+J on your keyboard. After the shortcut key combination is pressed, a downloads tab or window (shown below) will appear.
To access via the Start Menu:
To access your downloads outside the browser, click then press the Windows key, type downloads, and press Enter. In some cases, when you download a file, you may be presented with a pop-up box asking if you want to Save the file or Run the file. If you select the Save option you can specify where to save the file including the desktop, documents folder, or any other location.
To access via the Explorer Window:
You can also find your Downloads file in any File Explorer window. Open a new explorer window by pressing Windows Key+E. Or click the File Explorer icon in your Taskbar. Now navigate to your Downloads folder using the shortcut in the left pane or by clicking on Downloads under other headings like Frequent Folders.
Managing your downloaded Files on a PC
Much like on a Mac, the downloads folder can become a messy mix of semi-abandoned files and items you actually need. Most of these files here are duplicates and large executables that can be deleted. Sort your files by type and determine if you need to keep the file or if it can be deleted. Music files, executable files, .run files, and photos are generally all duplicates and should be moved to the trash. Don’t forget to then empty the trash! 🙂
Take 5 minutes to clean out this folder! Decide for yourself which files need to be relocated to their proper folder and which items are duplicates you can delete. Do this each month and you will keep your RAM usage low and your computer running much faster!
This week’s five minute challenge task will teach how to delete unused apps, update your apps, and reinstall apps to cure bloat.