how to save a file on a PC

Saving files on your computer is easy to do once you get used to it. The problem is that it doesn't actually look easy.

Since everything on your computer, every document, picture, video etc is considered by the computer to be a file, it's obviously important that we can save these files. We want to be able to save that picture of our grand kid's first day at school etc.

And we want to save them in a way that we can retrieve them again later when we want them.

On the previous page, we looked at Creating Folders on a PC , so now we're going to put some files into those folders.

Home » Free Computer Course. » How to Save a File on a PC

how to save a file on a PC.

To get started we'll need a file to save. So we'll use a program called Notepad to create some simple text files to practice with.

Once you get the hang of saving files in Notepad, all other programs are the same.

Open Notepad by clicking the Start button, then typing -


Left-click Notepad at the top of the list.

open notepad.

When Notepad opens, type a short sentence.

You can type anything you like, I've gone with "This is a dummy file", but anything will do. We just need some text to save.

type something into notepad.

To save the file, we'll need to tell the computer 2 things.

First, what's the file's name. What should the file be called?

And second. where should the file be saved. Which folder should the file be saved in? Where's it going to live?

We'll call the file "Dummy File 1" and we'll save it to the Desktop.

So the file name will be Dummy File 1 and its location will be the Desktop.

And this is the way to think about it, file name and location.

Click the FILE button in the top left-hand corner.

On the menu that opens, click SAVE.

click file & then save.

The SAVE AS window opens.

This is where we can tell the computer what we want to call the file. What name should it have.

And where should the file be saved to. Which folder should the file be placed into.

the save as window.

Remember, file name and location.

That's all that this window is about. By clicking the SAVE button, we've told the computer we want this file saving.

So like a good assistant, the computer is asking us, what should the file be called and which folder should it be put into.

file name and location.

At first sight, the Save As window does look a little complicated.

But if we think in terms of file name & location, then it starts to make sense.

Looking near the bottom of the window, you'll see a box labelled, FILE NAME. And it's highlighted.

The computer is asking you to type in a name for the file.

It's set everything up for you.

It's being a good assistant. Efficient.

Whenever text is highlighted, it's ready to be overwritten.

Which means you don't have to click in the box, you don't need to press delete, the computer is expecting you to start typing a name for the file. So just type.


So as soon as the Save As window opens, we start typing a name for the file.

We don't click, we don't press delete, we just type.

We'll call the file "Dummy File 1"

type the name of your file.

That's the file name sorted. Now for the location.

Maybe we should have a closer look at this Save As window.

Haven't we seen it before? Doesn't it look familiar somehow?

the save as window.
file explorer.

That's right, it's File Explorer. That's all it is. We covered File Explorer in How to Navigate Your PC .

The only real difference between the Save As window and File Explorer is that, with the Save As window, you get a File Name box at the bottom.

That's more or less it, above the File Name box, the Save As window and File Explorer are the same, they work the same way.

OK, let's get on and give this file a location.

We'll save it onto the Desktop.

In the left-hand panel, click Desktop to jump to that folder.

The right-hand panel (the main window) will change to show the contents of the Desktop folder.

Click the SAVE button in the bottom right-hand corner.

click the save button.

Close Notepad and check on your desktop for the file you've just created.

The file has a name and a location.

it worked. Hoorah.


The two main uses of a home computer are Internet access and saving files.

It's what we do with our PC's

So it makes sense to be able to save files properly and easily.

Have a go at these easy exercises to sharpen your skills.

saving a file on your computer.

save files into new folders.

OK, so now we can save a file straight onto the Desktop. But what if we want to save the file into a folder on the Desktop.

Let's say we're going to create several files, all related to each other, that we want to keep together inside a folder on the Desktop.


For now, we'll stick with using Notepad, so open it up and type something. Anything will do.

Click the FILE button, then click SAVE.

Just as we did before.

click file, save.

Now remember, when saving files, it's File Name & Location.

So as soon as the Save As window opens, type a name for the file.

Now we need to give the file a location.

We want to put the file into a folder, which will be on the Desktop.

So click Desktop in the left-hand panel.

So far it's exactly the same as saving a file directly onto the Desktop.

The difference comes in the next step.

the save as window.

Now here's the difference, we want the file to go into a folder. The folder doesn't actually exist at the moment. We need to create one.

And again, your computer is being a helpful assistant.

Towards the top left-hand corner of the window, you'll see a button called NEW FOLDER.

Left-click once on the NEW FOLDER button, and a new folder will be created on the Desktop.

click new folder.

Told you the computer was being helpful. It has provided an easy way for you to create a new folder, just in case that's what you wanted to do.

We've already covered naming folders on the previous page.

But just to be sure, while the words "New Folder" are highlighted, type a name for your folder.

You don't have to click on it, or click in the box, or press the delete key on the keyboard.

Just start typing the name you want to give to the folder.

name your new folder.


Once you've named the folder, left-click it once to select it.

Then click the OPEN button, which is in the lower right-hand corner of the window.

Then click the SAVE button.

select the folder, click open, click save.

Saving files on your PC isn't difficult, with a little practice. The more often you can do this, the better.

Have a go at this exercise.

save a file into a new folder.

saving to an existing folder.

You should by now be able to save a file. And you can save a file into a folder that you've just created. It's easy, isn't it?

It's just File name & location.

This time, we'll drop a file into a folder that already exists. A folder that you've already got set up

Create a folder on your Desktop and call it "More Dummy Files".

Now open Notepad and type something, again anything will do, we just need some letters on the page.

Then click FILE and SAVE.

The SAVE AS window will open.

Name your file.

So far it's all the same as before.

the save as window.

To create a folder - right click - move pointer onto NEW - left click FOLDER - type name of folder.

To review the Folders page click All About Windows Folders

So that's the file named. Now to locate it somewhere.

We've already got a folder prepared and waiting for the file to be saved into.

It's called More Dummy Files and it's on the Desktop.

Click Desktop in the left-hand panel.

In the right-hand panel, we can see the contents of the Desktop. And amongst those files and folders, you should be able to see the folder More Dummy Files.

Left-click it once to select it, then click the OPEN button.

When the folder opens, click the SAVE button.

select the folder & then click open.

Another quick exercise for you.

This stuff is so important to learning to use a computer, that we really need to be able to do it.

To do it easily, we don't have to be quick, but we do need to know how to do it.

And, like everything else in life, that takes practice.

saving a file into a pre-existing folder.


saving files into other folders.

Up to now, we've been saving everything onto the Desktop.

That's because it's easy to do and easy to find the files afterwards, to check that it worked.

But of course, we don't always want to save files onto the Desktop. Generally, text files would go into the Documents folder, pictures into the Pictures folder etc.

This final exercise is about saving files into folders other than the Desktop.

saving files into other folders.

On this page, we've been creating and saving text files. Documents. And we've dropped most of them onto the Desktop.

Now pictures, videos, music, in fact, anything on your computer, is a file.

And the process of saving a file is exactly the same. Regardless of what type of file it is.

Every file needs a name and a location.

So once you're comfortable saving text files, you can save anything.


tick blue

file name and location.

That's all it is. Give your new file a name and then locate it somewhere. Easy.

But there's more.