I’ve been asked what happens when you clean the downloads folder on your PC. Readers want to know if you’ve downloaded a program there and clear the folder, will the program continue to work?

That’s a great question.  The Downloads folder is the default download location for programs, images, and other files downloaded from online.

It’s important to keep track of that folder because it can fill up fast. Whenever you download a document, PDF, image, or video from online, it’s a good idea to immediately move it to the appropriate folder like Pictures, Documents, etc…  That makes sure that you can find it when you need and that you don’t accidentally delete it. If you delete a picture or a document from the Downloads folder unless you’ve moved it somewhere else, it will be deleted.

Programs work a little differently. Generally, what you download is the installer for the program. A program that does just what the name suggests, installs the program. The program is then installed in the appropriate location on your PC, under the Programs file.


To check out the contents of your Downloads folder, type Downloads in your Windows search box and click on the results.


You can sort items in your Downloads folder by name, download date, and type of file. Click on the heading to sort.

If you aren’t sure exactly what an item in your downloads folder is, the type of file can be an important clue.