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tooo many downloads

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I created a Download folder on my computer to put all downloads. Most everything I downloaded was zipped/compressed, I think. My intentions were to uncompress and place into Programs folder. Let me be honest about my lack of house cleaning - now I have a folder with waay to many items in it ! How can I tell which are compressed and which actual programs? Will I have to go back and forth with Program folder to verify programs already installed? Does compressed file have different name from actual program?

Gee - I can think of a new guide (don't tell me there already is one!) - How to organize your computer/How to take control of your computer

I'll stop for now. Thanks for time and thoughts.

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Usually compressed files/programs are in a zipped format such as .zip or .rar, etc

Personally, I keep my downloads in a download folder, even after I install the program. If is a zipped file of a program I install, that will go into its own folder within the download folder. I will unzip within that folder. That way all of the files needed for the program install are together and not scattered.

If I have multiple versions of the same program (and I do), they are again in their own folder within the download folder.

To see if a program is installed, you can sometimes tell what it is by the file name or properties. I make a habit of renaming the file to something I understand instead of the shortcut names they give.
Keep in mind that a zipped/compressed file takes less space than a unzipped one.

And of course I have multiple backups of the main system, data, pictures, and everything important. If it is a program that I have downloaded and requires a registration and key, that is backed up also.

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