Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Your browser may add a number to your downloaded file name to avoid collisions if you download the a file of the same name more than once.

My belief is that it's collision avoidance. It's IE's way of making sure that if you download files with the same name from different locations that the second doesn't overwrite the first.

Why sometimes? It may not actually add the number until there's already a file of the same name. The first one might be 'normal', but sometime later (possibly much later) the next file might have the number added.

There's also a theory floating around that says if you have two (or more) instances of IE running at the same time, it may add the numbers as well.

Most of this is conjecture. I've yet to find a difinitive answer.

(My thanks to some of the regulars in the LockerGnome Forums for an assist on the conjectures.)

Article C1985 - June 4, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

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 to ask your question.