How do you organize your downloads?

Mike January 7, 2011
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Multipart question (^~^)

I would like to know what’s your approach in keeping your Drivers, Patches, ISO, Software, Tools etc. in order?

Do you keep all of them even if you use them like once a year or just find them practical if needed? Do you keep only the regular/important stuff you’d install right after Windows and bookmark the rest? What about tools that basically do the same job and only differ in like two or three features?

Further, do you have like one folder for each type and just throw everything in there or maybe do you keep them more organized in categories like System Tools, Productivity, etc…

And what do you do about the filename mess? Do you keep all the dashes, dots and underlines or do you prefer clean names?

Happy answering :)

    January 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Given the processing power of modern computers and the offer of indexing/search software you can ditch to a large extent the tree-like mode of organizing. Windows 7 and Vista have a built-in index. Try searching “Indexing options” in your control panel. For XP I warmly recommend Windows Desktop Search ( although a Google alternative exists bundled with Google Desktop (

    I have indexed all the below, so now when I need something I just press WIN and start typing a keyword (I run Windows 7):

    ? In My Documents I have a folder containing shortcuts to all the executable files in my portable programs collection. My Documents gets automatically indexed so now I have an application launcher.
    ? My music collection is well organized but I keep it indexed because even so the index is faster to find anything.
    ? My documents (.doc, .pdf etc) are more or less organized – there is never a quite perfect way to classify them. Here the index is a life saver.

    I have only a few installation kits as most of my programs are portable. I keep all my docs backed up in Dropbox ( - they have their own searchable index.

    Other than that I endorse Aibek's advice: keep a single download file [& clean it from time to time] and keep all personal files on a second partition.

  2. Aibek
    January 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I keep my Downloads in the folder called Downloads which site on the external drive. I also point default download locations on all programs to that folder. I also have a 'setups' folder that is primarily fr storing setup files.

    In regard to overall organization, i prefer to keep my Windows and system files on one partition and the rest i.e. personal documents, emails, backups etc on the other. That way I can easily reinstall Windows anytime without loosing my data.

  3. Bobaloub
    January 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I put all software into a folder called software bin on my desktop. I have another folder name misc for other stuff I download. I rename items so I know what they are. If you are downloading anti spyware I rename them and include the version no. or date I downloaded them since it's important to keep these up to date.

  4. Anonymous
    January 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Well you can keep track of your soft using software organizers/catalogues such as
    SoftCat free version

    Purchased softs you have to keep them for registration issues, otherwise freewares unless you used them regularly keeping a copy its not a bad idea.

    You can create a folder as shareware and anoher one as freeware and organize them with subcategories to host your files.

    dashes, dotes, underlines are not verry important if you add the software version number.

    Drivers they are regularly updated but you can burn a certain version into a cd and keep it in case, there are some softs like Paragorn Drive Backup 9.0 free edition can help to do this.

  5. Tina
    January 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Typically, I don't keep these files in order. By the time I need them again, most of them are outdated anyways, so I simply download them anew.

    I do store the most important stuff in a folder, just in case I need something and don't have internet access. I did try to keep sub-folders, so it would be easier to find whatever I needed, but it wasn't worth the effort.

    For above reasons I also keep the original file name and don't bother to rename.