How do I download a file from the Internet?

Download The following example uses Microsoft Internet Explorer because it is one of the more familiar browsers. Although other browsers may not follow these steps exactly, you should be provided with a good outline as to how a file is downloaded from the Internet.

  1. To initiate a download from a website, you must first click on the link. A link is usually denoted by an icon or different colored text.
  2. Next, the browser should ask what you'd like to do with the file. Unless you want to run the program immediately, it is recommended you save the file and place the file somewhere you're going to remember, like the desktop.
  3. If the file you've downloaded is executable, click the icon twice in rapid succession to start the setup process. However, the majority of the time, a downloaded file is compressed and requires another program to extract the file's contents before setup can begin. Fortunately, this function is build into later versions of Windows.
  4. Once the file has been extracted, double click the setup icon to install.

Warning: It is important to realize that files on the Internet may contain computer viruses; the best method in protecting yourself make sure you have an anti-virus program installed and that it is up to date. Additional information and help about computer viruses can be found on our virus help page.

Try Now

The link below allows you to practice downloading a file called This file is executable; it opens a window and prints a message indicating that it was successfully downloaded. Due to its programming, this file was made it only works on computers running Microsoft Windows.

 Click here to test downloading a file

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