Online College Courses for Credit

Downloads and Uploads

Downloads and Uploads

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Illustrate the actions of uploading and downloading and how to perform them.

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn more about how to download and upload items on a computer. You will also consider how you can use your improve your results driven skill by knowing how to complete these tasks.

Specifically, this lesson covers:
  1. Download
    1. Finding Your Files
    2. Download Process
  2. Upload

1. Download

There are certain actions you will perform many times on a computer. You might use email daily or maybe you create spreadsheets as a regular part of your job. Two actions you will no doubt perform regularly are downloading and uploading files. Below, you will learn about each process and how to locate any files being used.

1a. Download Process
When you download something, you are copying data, usually in the form of a file, from another source to your own computer. Examples include downloading a document, a song, or a software program. There are almost limitless types of downloads. If you’ve installed an app on your phone or saved an image you’ve found online, you’ve downloaded something.

When something is available to download to your computer, you’ll usually see a Download button to click. If not, you can try right-clicking on the item you want to download and selecting Save As from the menu that appears. Doing this will allow you to save a copy of the file to your hard drive.

Save Image As Option

The process for downloading can vary by file type. For instance, downloading a document that’s attached in an email can be different than downloading an image you find on a website. This course cannot cover the ways in which you can download each file type, but this is where you can put your technology

 mindset into action. There are several websites, including YouTube, which will show you exactly how to download specific file types and help you troubleshoot if you hit an obstacle. We’ll dive deeper into web searches later in this course.

Add video: Take a look at this short video that shows an example of the download process.

term to know
The process of copying data, usually in the form of a file, from another source to your own computer.

1b. Finding Your Files
When you download a file, your operating system will save it to a file to retrieve when needed. You’ll learn more about organizing computer files later in the course. For now, we’ll focus on the Downloads folder.

Most browsers, such as Chrome, Edge, or Internet Explorer, will automatically save downloaded files to the Downloads folder. Depending on your computer’s settings, you may be asked where you want to save your file.

Regardless of where you save the file, make sure it’s in a spot where you can easily find it again. If you aren’t sure where you saved a file, you can use the search bar on the Windows Taskbar or in the macOS Spotlight Search or Finder to locate it. When you are in your browser, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+J (or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac) to access a list of downloads and information on where they are stored in your hard drive.

2. Upload

When you upload a file, you transfer a copy of it from your computer to another computer or website. One common example of uploading is posting pictures or videos to social media. You could also upload assignments in an online class. Additionally, you may upload a file when you send a document as an attachment over email. You are even uploading data when you send a gif to a friend in a text message.

When you upload a file from your computer, you’re usually prompted by a website to select the file you want to upload. A file browser window on your computer will appear, allowing you to choose the file you want to share. You will find the file you want to share, either by searching, as previously described, or by remembering where you saved it. By selecting that file, the computer will take care of the uploading process.

See the example below of how you upload a file to Google Drive.

Add video: In the short video below you can see an example of the upload process.

term to know
The process of copying a file from a computer to another computer or website.

Results Driven: Apply Your Skill
You have an interview with an employer and you’d like to show examples of your previous work. What are some options you might use to upload and/or download files to accomplish this goal?

In this lesson you learned that being able to download and upload files is an important technology skill. You reviewed the basics of each process like finding your files and how the download process works. You also reflected on how these skills could benefit you in the workplace. When faced with the need to share important information to achieve your desired results, being able to locate files to download or upload could be the key to success.

Hope you enjoyed the lesson!

Terms to Know

The process of copying data, usually in the form a file, from another source to your own computer.


The process of copying a file from a computer to another computer or website.