Question of the Month – What are Upload and Download

Periodically we will post answers to questions we are asked at the shop. This month, the question is: what are upload and download?

Whether you are asked to upload a resume to a job site, or to download a statement from your bank, it is easier to do it when you understand what is happening.

The image to keep in your mind is that you and your device are DOWN on the ground, and the Internet and every other source of information are UP in the cloud.


Copy a file from a device like a phone, tablet or computer UP to a website on the Internet.

This does not move the actual file, it makes a copy of it. There will still be a copy of this file on your device. This file can be a document, a picture, or a video for example.

When you upload a file, you have to know it’s location on your device in order to select it to be uploaded. You also need to be on an app or a website that is providing you with a location to upload to.

Some websites support having files dragged and dropped in order to initiate the upload as in the Google example below. Others require you to click on a link and designate the file location.

An example of uploading might be when a resume is requested in the process of completing an online job application. There is usually an upload button, which then allows the user to navigate to the location of the resume on their device. The uploaded resume is copied to the application website and associated with the online application.


Copy a file from a website on the Internet DOWN to your device.

This does not move the actual file, it makes a copy of it. There will be a copy on the website and also one on your device.

Most documents are downloaded to a folder called DOWNLOADS on your device. The default can be changed by the user. We recommend you then move it to a more useful storage location.

An example of downloading might be when you log onto your bank’s website and download a copy of your monthly statement. This allows you to keep a copy of the statement on your own device.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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