Where Did That File Go?

Have you ever downloaded a file then couldn't find it? I usually download to my desktop or my downloads folder, but do occasionally change folders.

If you can't find a downloaded file in the usual place, try to download again and you'll see the location under the "Save in" field. Most browsers remember where your most recent download was saved. Hit "Cancel" once you know the location.

So, you still can't find that file? Let's go at this another way by using the search function in Windows.

Click the Start button and select "Find" or "Search" depending on your version of Windows. A screen will open up that allows you to search for files.

To do a search, just type the name of the missing file in the "Named" box. If you're using XP, you'll need to click the "All files & folders item" and type what you're looking for into the "All or part of a file name" box.

If you're not sure what the name of the file is, you can use wildcards.

For example, say you're looking for a text file, but you aren't 100% sure of the file name. Type *.txt in the "Named" or "All or part of a file name" box. The * is a wildcard, meaning that as long as a file has an extension of .txt, it will be displayed.

Don't worry. You don't have to know the file extension if you already know the name of the misplaced file. If you know the name of the file, just type it in the box and it will attempt to locate it. In fact, even if you only have a partial file name, that will work.

Once the file is located, just double-click it, or press enter while the file is highlighted, and Windows will open it.

I know that I've often found myself searching for the same file over and over again. You'd think I would learn where I put it. What a hassle to go to Search and put everything in again. Well, did you know that you can save a search?

After your search is complete go to the File menu and choose "Save Search". Give the file a name and choose a location. Be sure to choose a place where you won't have to search for it :-) I put mine in "My Documents". Click "Save".

Now when you want to redo that search just go to the location you saved it in and double-click the file (it has a .fnd file extension). All your search parameters are there and you can click the "Search" button to run it again.

This really comes in handy with more complicated searches, like when you scan for large files.

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