This article was previously published under Q258809
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Under some conditions, it may be useful to download one or more files from a Web site, a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site, a bulletin board, and so on. At some time after you do so, you may want to open this file or files. This article describes how to open a downloaded file.
When you download a file or files by using one of the methods listed earlier in this article, the provider of the file typically includes some form of instructions that are specific to its file download process. These instructions often include steps to perform after the download process finishes. IMPORTANT: It is important to note all of the instructions that the file provider includes with the file to ensure you can use this file after you download it. For example, many files can be downloaded from Web sites on the Internet, and many of these Web sites include detailed instructions about how to use the file after the download process.
WARNING: When you download a file, you may receive a computer virus, based on a number of different factors such as the security of the file provider, the type of file, and so on. Unless you obtain the file or files from a trusted source, Microsoft recommends you perform a virus check on any files you download before you try to open them. Note that if you open a file that contains a virus, you may experience slight to severe symptoms, possibly including data loss and/or damage to your computer hardware. Because of this, you may need to obtain and install a third-party anti-virus program before you open a downloaded file.
To open a downloaded file:
Follow any instructions the file provider has given to place the downloaded file or files in a specific folder on your computer. If your file or files are already in this specific folder, skip to step 2. If you did not receive instructions about placing the downloaded file or files in a specific folder, create a new folder on the desktop, and then copy the files into this folder:
Right-click the desktop, point to New, and then click Folder.
Type downloaded_files, and then press ENTER.
Copy the file or files to this new folder. To copy a file, right-click it, click Copy, right-click the destination folder, and then click Paste. After you copy the file or files to the downloaded_files folder, verify that all the files were successfully copied. After you verify that all the files were copied, you can delete the original copies of the files.
Open the folder that contains the file or files (or the downloaded_files folder), and then double-click the file you want to open. If you have a program installed on your computer that is capable of opening the file, when you double-click the file, the file should open in the appropriate program. For example, if you double-click a document (.doc) file and Microsoft Word for Windows (any version) is installed on your computer, the file should open in Word. If you do not have a program that is capable of opening the file, you receive an "Open With" dialog box that prompts you to select a program to open the file with. If you receive this prompt, it indicates you do not have a program that is capable of opening the file, and you should obtain and install a program for this purpose. For information about which program to install, the provider of the file should be able to confirm which program is needed to open their file.