Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
You can Run a download or you can Save it, it's a difference many of us take for granted. We'll look at what it really means to Run or Save.
When downloading software or whatever, what is the difference between RUN and SAVE?
This is one of those things that I think a lot of people take for granted, but to many it's just so much magic.
So, a quick look at what it means when you choose between "Run" and "Save" when you download a file.
When you select Run on a download, it's actually a two step process:
"Run" can mean several things. If the file is a ".exe" file, that's a program, and running it means exactly that: the program is loaded into memory and Windows runs it. If the file is a different type of file that Windows knows about, then it runs the program associated with that type of file. It points that program at the downloaded copy of the file. For example if you "Run" a ".jpg" file, the file is downloaded and the program associated with viewing .jpg files is run. It then opens and views the file.
Depending on your browser or specific scenario, Run can also be considered the same as Open File With... where you actually get to chose the program with which to open the downloaded file.
One important thing to note about using Run: the file was downloaded into a temporary location, and it may eventually be deleted. In fact it almost certainly will if you wait long enough.
That's why Save exists.
When you select Save (or sometimes Save As...) in response to a download, the browser will simply download the file. That's all. The file is copied to your hard disk, and it's then up to you to do something with it.
The big difference is that it's not downloaded into a temporary location. The file is downloaded into a default folder or a folder that you specify. It might be "My Documents", "My Downloads", or something else entirely depending on your browser and configuration. But it's a folder that should be easy to find. More importantly the file will not be automatically deleted at some later time.
Like I said, you have to decide what to do with it and when.
It could be as simple as leaving it where it is, and using Windows Explorer to locate and then double click on the file whenever you want to use it in the future. Or you could move it to a different location to backup and archive it. Or you could do something else entirely.
When might you use one or the other?
Run: When you only need the download once. Perhaps a song or video you only plan to listen to or watch once. Another scenario might be an installation program that when run installs software on your machine in other, permanent locations. Once installed, you probably don't need the installer again.
Save: When you want to keep whatever it is you've downloaded. You can still run it or whatever else you'd like to do with it, but you'll need to do that yourself.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.