Downloaded file smaller than installed files

by on February 22, 2010

Q: How come when I download programs like Adobe Reader onto my computer they show up as one size but then once I install them they show up much bigger?

A: The installer file you download, in this case for Adobe Reader, is compressed to cut down on the download time. When you run the installer the compressed file is uncompressed, a step that a user might not even notice, and then the uncompressed data is installed onto your computer. This uncompressed data can be multiple times larger than the originally downloaded installation file.

There is no reason to be alarmed but if you are in a situation where your hard drive is getting filled up you should keep in mind that once you install something it can be considerably bigger than the download size.

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