Have you ever copied a document to your hard drive, but couldn’t remember where you saved it? Have you created a new file with a program and can’t figure out where to go when you want to attach it to an email? How about downloading a file from the web with your browser and then not knowing where to go to open it?
If any of these scenarios are familiar to you, then this tech tip should be helpful. We’ll start with the simplest methods and work our way to the more complicated.
1. Check the Recent Document Folder
In Windows XP, this is named Recent Documents.
In Windows Vista/7, this is named Recent Items.
Click on the Windows Start Button and scroll up the menu to either Recent Documents or Recent Items. There, you will find the last 15 files that you have opened/saved on your computer.
2. Check the Recently Used List in Your Applications
Looking for a file that you last used in Microsoft Word? Open Word and click File to see a list of recently used files. With Word 2007, you want to click on the circular “Office” button to display your most recently used files. Typically only the 5-15 most recently used files are listed in applications.
3. Check Your My Documents or Documents Folders
Microsoft Office applications usually save to those folders by default. If you never have had to specify a new location to save a file, your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files are probably here.
4. Create a Fake File to Save
If you weren’t able to find your file with the two methods above, then creating a fake file with the application could work. Let’s say you know you created the file in Excel, but just don’t know where you saved it. Create a new file in Excel and go to Save As; you should see the directory where the files are being saved by default. That should give you a pretty good hint where the file is located. You can also right-click on file to bring up a menu of actions – re-save the file somewhere else, move it, email it, etc…
Applications usually remember the last location you saved a file, but often times that last location isn’t necessarily where you save every single file. This can be quite frustrating if your folder is in an uncommon location on your hard drive.
With most applications you can change the default location where the files are being saved. This option can usually be found within the Options or Preferences menu items.
Creating a fake file is particularly helpful for applications that save files to their own obscure default location. I usually try and save these files to my Desktop or to the Documents folder.
5. Use Windows Search to Find the File
If none of the easier methods have worked, you can always use the Search function that is built into Windows. This method will help you most quickly if you know the name of the file you are looking for. Even if you don’t remember the name, you can probably still find the file by searching by the date you may have last modified it, by a portion of the file name, by the size of the file, or even the document extension of the file. In extreme cases you can also search the contents of every file to match up with what you are looking for. You would only do this if you have absolutely no idea what the file name is or if it was mixed in with a bunch of the same file type.
In Windows XP: Click Start, Search, Select All Files and Folders, and then choose search criteria.
In Windows Vista/7: Click Start and then in the Start Search field, type what you think the document name is. With indexing turned on, you can also try typing a specific word that might only be in that document. Indexing makes searching the contents of a file nearly instantaneous. If nothing shows up in the search results, click search anywhere to bring up the Advanced Search menu. From there you will be able to search various criteria.
6. Additional Tips
The Search function is also a great way to organize your files. If I want to put all my pictures in one folder, I can search the entire drive for files that have the extension .jpg.
If I’m cleaning out my hard drive to free up space, I’ll start with Search to find the biggest files to delete first. For example, I could search for all files over 5 MB and delete what I don’t need.
We’ve had a few emails recently asking if entire folders or multiple files can be sent using DropSend, so here are a few tips on getting the most out of the service when you want to send groups of images, documents or other files.
If you have an entire folder that you would like to send or store and you just drop it on to the desktop tool, for example, then DropSend will treat all the individual files within it as separate items. If you’re on the Pro or Business Plans, this won’t matter because you have unlimited sends, but on any other plan you risk maxing out your total file sends for that month.
The best way to overcome this is to zip up your files into one folder – this means that you won’t use up all your sends, and the organization of files within that folder will be retained when the recipient picks it up.
To ‘zip’ some files on a PC, simply place all the items you want to send into one folder – say on your desktop – give it a name, then right click and choose ‘Send to compressed (zip) folder’. The zipped file will appear in the same location as your original folder. Now drop the zip file into the desktop DropSend tool – or upload it via the website in the usual way.
If you’re on a Mac it’s a pretty similar process. If the individual files are not already in one folder, create a folder and place them in it. Then right click on the file and choose ‘Create archive of “xxxxx”‘. Your compressed file will appear as a .zip file on the desktop.
Typically uploading a file will always be slower than downloading; this is just a limitation of the Internet infrastructure. But there are a number of other factors that affect the speed of uploading a file, such as:
1.) Your connection to the Internet, whether you are wired or wireless
2.) The ISP providers link between you and the Internet.
3.) The Internet itself; certain times of the day are busier than others.
4.) Traffic going into our datacenter at peak and off-peak hours.
5.) Encryption and compression of files.
Data transfer speeds are sometimes displayed in Kbps (KiloBytes per second) which is different from Kbps (Kilobits per second), as well as from MBps (MegaBytes per second) and Mbps (Megabits per second). The following chart will help you convert and calculate from one measurement to another:
Telecommunications bit rates
Bps = 1 bit/s
Kbps = 1000 bits/s
Mbps = 1000 Kbits/s or 1000000 bits/s
Gbps = 1000 Mbit/s or 1000000000 bits/s
Tbps = 1000 Gbit/s or 1000000000000 bits/s
You can determine your data rate by going to one of the many sites on the Internet that can calculate the speed. A popular site for this is: http://www.speedtest.net. When reviewing your speed score be sure to pay attention to the measurement unit being used. This is often confusing to people who are not IT experts, as communication rates are typically shown in bits per second.
It is a common misconception to use 1024 in conversion between kbps and bps, in calculating telecommunication data rates 1 Mbps = 1000 Kbps. However, if you are calculating storage capacity of data on a hard disk 1 MB = 1024 KB.
Consider that a 1 MB file is equal to 1024K bytes or 8,192 bits, but a 1 Mb transfer speed is equal to 1024K bits or 128k bytes. When converting from K Bytes to K Bits use a factor of eight.
1 Kbps = 1 kbps = 1 kilobyte per second = 8,000 bits per second
A 100 KB/sec [Kilobyte-per-second] upload speed therefore is equal to:
=800 Kbps [Kilobit-per-second]
=0.1 MB/sec [Megabyte-per-second]
If you are interested in learning more on this subject refer to: