How to Find Downloaded Files on Your Computer

Updated March 23, 2017

You use an Internet browser when you download a file to your computer. So in order to find downloaded files on your computer, you've got to first identify the place where your computer browser deposits the files automatically. Once you identify the location, you can change the destination for your files, clean up the folder, execute the files or move them to other locations.

Open your Internet browser. While this is a common place where you can set and view the location for downloaded files, some browsers do not have this option (see "Registry Editor Method" below if this is your situation).

Click "Tools" or similar on the main menu and select "Options," "Preferences" or a similar menu option.

Click the "Main" or similar tab and look for the "Downloads" section. This will display the download location for your browser.

Copy the address ("CTRL + C") and paste it into your browser's address box, or open Windows Explorer (right-click the "Start" button and select "Explore"), and paste the address into that address bar.

Use the registry editor to find the download location as an alternative. Click the "Start" menu and select "Run..."

Type in "regedit" (no quotation marks) and click "OK."

Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER folder in the left hand pane, then "Software." Find the name of the browser software company (such as Microsoft) and then the name of the browser itself (like Internet Explorer).

Move over to the right-hand pane and right-click "Download Directory" or similar.

Choose "Modify" from the list of options to view the download directory for that browser. Copy and paste the address into the Windows Explorer address bar (right-click the "Start" Menu and click "Explore") to open the folder.


These instructions apply to Windows operating systems.

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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.