I've read various posts that could be connected to this question but I have yet to read a response that I believe helps me.
First, a little bit of background. Feel free to skip to bold text if you don't feel the need to be as thorough as me.
I just recently wiped out my entire computer and upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 for various reasons. So of course afterwards I had to do countless downloads to ensure everything was up to date. I am mostly familiar with Windows XP and older versions of this OS, which is what leads me to this dilemma...
I understand that when you save/download a file it automatically places itself in the "Downloads" folder.
Then when you begin the installation process it then installs/moves to your programs file or wherever location you decide. However; after you have installed an application, is it okay to clean your "Downloads" folder?
I made a pact with myself to constantly keep my computer as "clean" as possible to help maintain performance for games... (note: I understand that simply cleaning out unused files..etc can be a minor difference for games.) I have A LOT of CAB files, various applications, and game setup/installers that have already been unzipped/installed. Is it safe to just clear out the download folder?
Definitely looking for some clarification on this topic. I've recently read that someone deleted the contents of their "downloads" folder and it didn't mess anything up. But, if there's anyone out there that's a gamer like me - you know how crummy it is to have to wait hours upon hours for games and addons to install. I.E., WoW, SWTOR, CurseClient+Addons...etc and I most definitely DO NOT want to start all over AGAIN!!! >.<
How do you determine what you need? Because, all the files are indeed important; if the downloads folder is just a temporary place then I could delete all the contents now and not have to worry about my applications not working correct?
The Downloads you ah.. "download" are just setup files or whatever for the programs. Unless you want to keep the files to re-install them later on, you can delete them. It's like holding on to a box for a TV. If you toss out the box, the TV will work just fine, and you save on space. But if you want to use the box later for packing, shipping, warranty, you need to get a new box. So if you delete the files from Downloads, and you want to re-install the program, you need to download it again.
It is bad advice to blindly tell someone that a program doesn't run from a directory.
The safest thing to do is to take a look at where any of your game icons are pointing to to determine if any games point to your downloads directory.
There are programs that run without a setup, if it's actually run a setup, like a game, or a plug in that will go into a game directory, it will not be in the downloads folder.
There is no way though that someone will ask a question like that and would have manually changed the any program setups to the Downloads folder. Actually, I would find it very hard to believe that anyone would do that. If you know what changing the setup path does, you would not pick the Downloads folder to install to. And if you don't know about changing the path, then you won't and it will go into Program Files.