Housekeeping Tip: Clean Up Your Downloads Folder
Here’s a quick tip. This tip won’t make your computer run faster or better. You can file this tip under good housekeeping.
Unless you changed the default folder for downloads in your browser(s), when you download software, it goes into your Downloads folder. Unless you downloaded a portable app after you install the software, you don’t need the file you downloaded ( what we call the “installer”). Yet most of us just allow all the software programs we download to remain in the Downloads folder, even though we will probably ever need them again.
So, today, right now, take a look in your Downloads folder. One quick way to get there is to type the word Download in the taskbar search and click on the “Downloads file folder” when it appears in the search results. And, of course, you can get open the Downloads folder. And you can also press Windows Key + E to open File Explorer and you’ll see the Downloads folder in the Quick Access section. No matter how you get there, get there and take a look. How many programs do you have cluttering up that folder?
Do you really need the installer for programs you’ve already installed? No. Will removing the program’s installer files from Downloads remove the installed program from your computer? No. So, why are most of our Downloads folders full of files? Eh?
If you want to clear out everything in your Downloads folder, open the folder, press CTRL + A to select all, then press the Delete key. All gone. If you only want to delete some of them, you can select one at a time and delete them, or you can select several files once by holding down the CTRL key and left-clicking to select any number of files. Once you have all the files you want to delete selected, just tap the Delete key.
Caveats: If you have a program installer that is no longer available for download – or one that used to be free and is no longer fee, you might want to save it to another folder – better yet save it to a USB flash drive or external hard drive. If you have downloaded software that did not require you to install it to run it (portable programs/portable apps) if you delete them you won’t be able to run that particular program. So you’ll want to avoid deleting them. And remember, if you make a mistake and delete one of these kinds of programs/apps, you can just re-download it.
And we know that each person is different. But we’ve seen hundreds of computers with Downloads folders teeming with old files. Most of them unnecessary. All they are doing is just, taking up space.
Humor us and take a look at your Downloads folder – you may be shocked at what has accumulated there over time.
And that’s our good housekeeping tip for today.