Can't find downloaded files usng vista o/s

 network engineer -
I can't find any files that I download.I watch it download completely,the run,save prompt pops up for a millisecond,then disappears,and the file is gone.I am using Vista(wich is crap) and it is probably the cause of my problems.Does anybody know if there is a fix for this problem,or any way I can find my disappearing files???Any suggestions will help.
Thank you

139 replies

Hi, I solved mine by uninstalling AVG and Ad-Aware. I uninstalled Ad-Aware because I already have Spybot. People above are right, having two security programs will do crazy stuff. I'm on Vista 32 bit.
look at #82
i unistalled AVG and everything works fine now...I've been experiencing this since july 08...
Basically all I did to solve my problem was I just reinstalled vista and backed up my old files onto external hard drive ^^, I couldnt uninstall AVG for some weird reason something to do with back to back ? anyway so yea reinstallation worked for me ^^).
i have a new sony laptop and all of the suden last week wheni dow loa smething it completes but the file isnt anywhere to be found.. Please help....

iF you have AVG on your laptop delete it and then restart it.

I had the same problem until a few moments ago. I was always trying to download something and it would show it downloading and everything fine. But when I went to was no where to be found. I had AVG free 8.0 on my computer. I uninstalled this and restarted my computer. Now my downloads work fine!
hi yes ive had this problem for a while now... I actually got rid of it by unisatlling my antivirus and my adobe and reinsatlling them. then installing fox it reader and making it the default.. this worked firn for about two weeks then it started again. I then uninstalled kaspersky again and it was fine .. installed kasp again and it was ok for a week. then off it went again.. so I dont know... maybe its just that vista is crap and we should all be grateful for xp sp3... regards howard farmer
To find saved files, follow the steps below.

Click on My Computer
Click on HP (C:)
Click on Users
click on Computer's Name or your name on the computer
click on Downloads
Look for the file that you saved.

I hope it helps.


Will this even find word docs - as I'm certain I saved the doc to the desktop but its just not there - I do have AVG which I intend to uninstall tonight - but so despartate to find this word doc - just wanted to confirm that they'd be a good chance my missing doc is lurking in here...

Many thanks
hey, I uninstalled avg antivirus (its a free program you can download) and rebooted and now everything works dandy. im going back to norton as well.
hey guys, sort of the same here, but I can't save the download, just run it, and when it is actually done, the download window just goes away.

Weird thing is, I had a "windows.old" folder, made from a new installation of vista I did just couple of hours, that old installation of vista had avg installed. I'm starting to back up some of the files that I want from that old installation and gonna delete all of the stuff in there, see what happens.

Weird stuff eh!
You probably have it in your hard drive somewhere. In IE browser, you need to specify where you want the file before clicking to download it... if you don't(in Vista) Vista will put it where it thinks it should go. ie.... music files to the music folder.... pictures to picture folder... other downloads to Downloads folder or Documents folder. You must specify where you want it in the dialog box before you click to download.

In Firefox..... click on tools.... then options... On the Main tab, in the middle of the dialog box, there is a Downloads section(in the middle). Select "save files to" and then click browse and then choose where you want it to go so you can find it.... ie... desktop... Downloads folder... etc. There is another selection... Ask Me Where to save files. If you select that option, then you could change the place where the downloads will go each and every time you download.

iv got the same problem. I have vista, and on the start menu it has ur name somewhere.. if you click that, there should be a file named my downloads.. where all ur stuff should download to. but I dont have that folder somehow. people have been saying to uninstall AVG.. but I cant find that anywhere.. and my laptop says I dont have the permission or administration tools to uninstall programs.. even though I am the administrator. so.. I cant use things like MSN, or iTunes, or Limewire.. and I desperatley need them. whats the point in even having a laptop if you cant even do the things you need to do ? help! x
i downloaded aimersoft video converter as I wanted to add files to my ipod but when I click on add files all my files are either not there or will not add!! Any help appreciated :)

Do you have an administrator account as well as a standard account? If you are asked for and enter the administrator password before the download starts, the file will go to the administrator account even if you were downloading from the standard account. Not realizing this drove me nuts for the better part of a day. So if you can't find a downloaded file and there is more than one account registered on your computer, click on Start, control panel, user accounts, manage another account, enter a password if prompted, click on a different account and search for your file from there.

try looking at C: >> Users >> home >> Downloads

or next time you're downloading right click and click "Open Containing Folder"

I found the problem!!!

If you don't have AVG antivirus software installed,
If you already tried other options such as running explorer as administrator, and have done everything etc.., this may help you.

go to another computer, and download the next file from the internet, Norton_Removal_Tool.exe
Save it on a cd or a flash drive and save it to the pc that you hace the problem.

even if you still have the Norton icons and shortcuts or if you try to uninstall it but get an error or not.

run this tool and should fix the problem, you should be able to download files again


Thank u so much

i tried all methods previously but none works

finally yours works!

re-install your operating system should work
THANK YOU!!! this has been driving me nuts !! thanks for the fix !!
I've tested this problem with both IE and Firefox. I apologize if the solution has already been found, however I did not really have the time to read all of the replies to this problem. This specific computer seems to download items in IE, however it was not downloading items when it was using firefox. I'm assuming that the converse can be stated about some of the other computers. I'm hoping that this bug in Vista will be eradicated soon, considering it took quite a bit of meddling with the computer to test all the regular things. Just thought I'd post it just incase people are still having this problem (I apologize for those using different internet browsers; havn't the time to test those.).
The technique offered above by Glen worked for me.

I've tried various techniques like uninstalling/installing AVG, changing my security settings and back tracking on my Vista updates. But nothing was working. Changing my firefox download settings did the job in 10 seconds!!
THANK GOD - GLEN - your fix worked for me. Just so I am clear, this is not for idiots who are just not searhcing for thier downloaded files properly, it is when an error occurs in the download procedure. now I just need to know how to set IE to do the same thing! THANKS GLEN. I have searched for 2 hours on the net to find this fix, there isn't even anything about it on micosoft website, and considering what a huge problem this is with vista I am shocked.
its happening to me and I don't even have avg, never have. so whats the deal?

These files "DID" get downloaded to your desktop. They are just "NOT VISIBLE" I had the same problem using Vista with IE and FireFox. Go away from the desktop and on left hand side click on DeskTop and it will list your ICONS & FILES. All your downloads are visible, but when you return to your desktop their gone??? Hmmmmm
I just select the files and move to my Downloads...problem fixed No Biggy...

please what exactly have you done??i don't understand the steps...please tell me I'm in pain here
Registration date
Sunday March 22, 2009
Last seen
March 23, 2009

download mozilla firefox and go to tools set downloads to go to desktop

I have IE-8, how can I download foxfire or any other if I can't down Load anything? I know how frustrating this is but how can I download help if I can't download. I have no virus protection like avg have tried deleating updates but nothing has work did you find a solution yet?