9/30/11
11:06 am

Forum Question: Understanding finder as a newcomer to using a Mac

Hi, i have a slight problem understanding where things are downloaded to in finder,when i say “Google” an image and “save as” ,i can designate desktop and thats where it ends up. straightforward,yes?
When i let something download to the downloads folder automatically ,when i return to look for it i want the last thing i downloaded to be the first thing in the list but sometimes i have to scroll up and down searching for it which is infuriating!
I tried various settings in view options such as date modified and date created which seem to work but not for long ,can you do a video detailing this please,i seem to think you might have included some mention of this in a recent video??
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Dave Cummings UK

Comments: 4 Responses to “Understanding finder as a newcomer to using a Mac”

    9/30/11 @ 11:23 am

    You can do the Save As and save it anywhere, yes.
    Are you using the new Safari 5.1 (In Lion, and I think SL too). There is a Downloads folder button at the upper right corner. This gives you a different way to view items in the Downloads folder that might keep things more to your liking.
    As for why sometimes the order gets messed up:
    When you sort by modified date, you always get them in that order. The problem is that by downloading a file you are not modifying it. So say you downloaded a PDF file yesterday that someone modified last week. Then today you download a PDF file that someone last modified 2 months ago. The files would be sorted by the modified dates, not the dates that you downloaded them.
    In many ways this is a good thing — that OS X isn’t changing the modified dates when you aren’t really modifying them. But it can make the Downloads folder hard to sort through.
    You may want to try to keep your Downloads folder empty. That’s a “best practice.” So yo download something, and then move it to where it should be. If it is an installer you may run the installer and then throw it away. If it is a PDF document you may file it in a folder in your Documents folder. If it is a picture that you just want to look at, but not keep, then delete it when you are done looking at it. Etc. Just treat the Downloads folder as a temporary holding location. If you Downloads folder is always empty, then it is easy to deal with.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    9/30/11 @ 3:56 pm

    Yes even for me i don`t find this hard. I more or less have it empty all the time. When i am on the internet and i download a lot of stuff,has soon as i come off the internet i deal with the downloads straight away and put them in the folders that comes under the appropriate heading say pictures,and then i put them into Photoshop folders which i also have categories for folders. Example- pictures of the sea go in the Seascapes folder, or a music track goes into iTunes,and so on.

    S.J. Allan
    10/1/11 @ 12:58 pm

    I tell my students (all over age 55 and subject to senior moments) to open Safari, go to Safari Preferences and change the General Preference “Save downloaded files to:” Desktop. Once that Preference is changed, you see the downloaded item on your desktop and you can clear the Downloads folder and deal with the download item. That way no one forgets that they have downloaded something and the downloads folder is cleared as soon as they deal with the download.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    10/2/11 @ 10:18 am

    I am coming up to 63yrs and i have mine set to a folder in Documents, plus the folder on the dock. The downloads folder in my Documents has been put there not by me, but by a third party. This is mainly for films. You mentioned the Desktop, again some downloads are on the Desktop sometimes in the shape of a Chocolate Bar. To me Applications nearly always appear on the Desktop. The one in the Dock is the main one for me. As i said up above.

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