Updated 4/30/2020 from
This page contains information about downloading many types of files from the Internet, including audio clips, documents, PDFs, programs, and images. The instructions in the following sections work with all modern browsers.
What is a download?
Downloading means getting data from the internet that needs to be saved and opened. Downloading should not be confused with copying or saving, which are files that are not on the internet (such as copying files to another location or saving a document). Also, a download is not an upload, in which a file is sent from one computer to another.
Examples of popular download types
applications or programs
One of the most popular types of downloads is to download an application or program that can be installed on your computer. On Windows computers these are mostly .exe files and on Apple computers they are .dmg and .app files.
Many programs can also be contained in a compressed file. If the download file or link ends in .arj, .zip, .tar, or .tgz, see the next section for information on downloading and extracting compressed files.
Below is a sample test executable file that can be run on your Windows computer. This executable will display the message “Congratulations, you have successfully downloaded an executable from Computer Hope’s website”.
Today most drivers are either contained in a compressed file (see next section below) or contained in a self-extracting executable file.
If you are having trouble figuring out how to install the drivers you downloaded, look for a “readme” file that contains this information. If you need more help, use the link below to install drivers on a computer.
Compressed files (e.g. .zip and .rar)
Compression techniques are used to reduce file size or consolidate multiple files. Compressed files can end with a .7z, .arj, .rar, .tgz, or .zip file extension. Once downloaded, these files must be unzipped before they can be run or viewed.
Below is an example of a compressed file named example.zip. After this file is downloaded, you need to unzip the file which contains a readme.txt file and a download-example.exe file.
Audio files (e.g. .mp3)
Downloading an audio file (e.g. MP3) from a link is similar to downloading any other simple file from the Internet. For websites that use audio streaming or embedded audio, other download techniques should be used, which are explained on the page linked below.
Downloading a movie file (e.g. MP4) from a link is similar to any other file download. However, you can also right-click the link and select Save link as, save target asat which the Save link content as Possibility. If an embedded movie has a down arrow next to the audio controls, use this link to download the movie. Other movie streaming services that don’t have a download link may require additional software to record the video. The link below provides additional instructions.
Below is an example link to an MP4 video file. To download, right-click and select the file Save link as, save target asor Save link content as.
Download Computer Hope.mp4
For the steps to download a YouTube video or its audio content, refer to the pages linked below.
pictures or pictures
Any photo or image from the Internet can be saved (downloaded) to your computer. As an example, the following steps will show you how to download the Computer Hope logo (shown on the right).
Once an image is saved, you can open it with an image editor or any other program that supports the image’s file format.
You can also opt for this copier picture, and then paste it into a document or graphics program.
A PDF file can be downloaded like most programs. By selecting a download link to a PDF file, most browsers will open the PDF content in the browser window instead of downloading the file. Below are the steps to download a PDF file to your computer instead of just viewing it.
You can follow the above steps using the link below to download our sample PDF.
word processing documents
A document, e.g. B. in Microsoft Word, can also be downloaded by clicking on any link that points to it. To see the process in action, click on the Computer Hope Example.doc file image to download our example.doc file to your computer.
If the browser opens the document or the link doesn’t work, you can also right-click the image and select Save link as, save target asor Save link content as.
Spreadsheet or CSV files
A spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking any link that points to the spreadsheet file (.xls, xlsx). To see the process in action, click the link below to download the sample .xls file to your computer.
Download sample .xls
If the browser opens the spreadsheet or the link doesn’t work, you can also right-click the link and select Save link as, save target asor Save link content as.
Many websites that retrieve information from a database do not store the data in .xls, .xlsx, or other spreadsheet file format. Instead, the files are saved as a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file. These files can also be downloaded in the same way and then imported into a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
By default, any link pointing to a text file opens in the browser. To save a text file to your computer for editing in a text editor, right-click the link and select Save link as, save target asor Save link content as. You can try it now by right clicking on the link below to download a readme.txt file.
Download the readme.txt file