Downloads folder


psmjr

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My Downloads folder on Windows 11 only shows downloads from the current year, 2022. I cannot find downloads (PDFs, images, etc.) from previous year. Any suggestions?
 

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TraderGary

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Welcome to 11 Forum!

Did you enable Storage Sense? The Downloads Folder would be considered temporary storage.
 

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psmjr

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No. Never heard of that. How to do it?
 

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Archigos

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@psmjr in your case, using the Downloads folder as a folder to keep stuff, you do NOT want Storage Sense turned on as it will regularly clean that folder to save space on your computer.

If you're still interested in Storage Sense, open Settings (Win+I) and go to System -> Storage and you can turn it on/off from there. Be warned again, storage sense WILL delete things from your downloads folder as it views it as a temp folder.
 

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TraderGary

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Its an option to control temporary storage, recycle bin, etc. when you have limited storage on your computer. If you are unaware of it, you probably don't have it activated.

Settings > Storage > Storage Management > Storage Sense
 
Last edited:

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psmjr

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Got it. Thanks. No, never enabled Storage Sense. So still have the issue of where are those downloads from 2021? Have not had occasion to go looking for them until today when I wanted to refer to a PDF from a company.
 

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TraderGary

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Got it. Thanks. No, never enabled Storage Sense. So still have the issue of where are those downloads from 2021? Have not had occasion to go looking for them until today when I wanted to refer to a PDF from a company.
If they were deleted, have you looked in your Recycle Bin?
 

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psmjr

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No, not there. I regularly empty that, and never saw files there that I had not manually put there myself. When I go to Downloads folder, I see choices for "Today," "Last Week," "Earlier This Month," "Last Month, and "Earlier this Year." Nothing beyond that. This laptop new in 2/2021, then running Windows 10. Allowed upgrade to Windows 11 (like a good little boy) within last couple of months. Any reason to think that has something to do with my question?
 

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Archigos

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Sounds like you're using the "Group By" settings, but the older stuff should still be at the bottom of the list.

The upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 'shouldn't' have anything to do with it.
 

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psmjr

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Thank you, Archigos. I just went into Downloads and no matter how they are grouped/listed/sorted, there is nothing earlier than 2022. I know I would not have deleted all my downloads from a previous year. I might delete some here and there that I no longer need, but not EVERYTHING. It's a puzzlement! BTW, have used Windows PCs for decades and never encountered this.
 

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Bill4321

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Have you tried searching for date:2021 from within the downloads folder?
 

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psmjr

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Thank you for the thought...I tried it and it yielded no results.
 

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Bill4321

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Hmmm.. not looking good is it!

Maybe worth trying a search through the whole latop and seeing if they are lurking elsewhere? If you want to try search for *.pdf date:2021 within Windows (C: ) which should bring up all the pdf files for 2021.
 

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psmjr

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No, but thanks again. I do still have the e-mails to which many of the downloads were attached in the first place, and I located the particular .pdf files I was looking for that way. But that's only part of the solution, since I don't necessarily still have all of those e-mails. Will keep looking...
 

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TraderGary

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A last hope might be that you use backup software that would have saved your file. For example, I use OneDrive along with Microsoft's built-in File History backup. Using File History, I can find file version changes and deleted files dating back to the first File History backup I ever did years ago. Some 3rd Party Backup software also has this capability.
 

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psmjr

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This just in...I went to a different computer, a relatively new HP Desktop that is still running Windows 10. In that Downloads folder, the fifth (and final) category is "A Long Time Ago," not "Earlier This Year," as it is on my laptop with Windows 11. On that desktop I found downloads going back into 2021, when it was purchased. So, perhaps it is indeed a function of how Downloads are stored in Windows 11?
 

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Bill4321

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No "A Long Time Ago" is also present in W11 (do wish they'd add "In A Galaxy Far, Far Away" as the final category)

Are you sure that you checked the box to keep personal files when upgrading to W11? Have you got any of your previous W10 files/programs? I can't remember the exact upgrade process but I'm sure that there is something that you tick/untick to say whether you want a fresh install or to keep eveything.
 

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psmjr

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Hmm...on my Win11 laptop that last section is Earlier This Year. There is no "A Long time Ago." That only shows up on my Win10 desktop. Very interesting. I'm sure I would have made every attempt to keep all files/folders during the upgrade. I do have such files/folders in Documents, for example. BTW, I am not doing the upgrade to Win11 on that desktop.
 

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Fabler2

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If you right click in the folder - sort by - more - this is my setting,

2022-03-29 21_34_11-Downloads.png

and this is the first download made showing under 'a long time ago' -

2022-03-29 21_40_22-2022-03-29 21_32_21-Downloads.png ‎- Photos.png
 

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psmjr

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Here's what I see when I right click on Downloads, then Sort, then More. You can also see the five category choices do not include A Long Time Ago.

1648587675912.png
 

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