Have you lost the download list from IDM (Internet Download Manager) and do you need to restore it? Although the situation seems scary since the list is erased, the reality isn’t as grim. The software leaves traces in the registry of your operating system and lets you save the download list to a folder. You might notice the Import and Export options under one of the main menu items. Well, now you know what their purpose is, and we’ll demonstrate their use. You shouldn’t worry—even if you can’t find the download list, you may still get the downloaded files. Now, here’s how to recover the IDM download list.
1. Import the file to recover an IDM download list
We’ll get straight into the primary method of saving and restoring a download list in IDM:
- In the main menu of IDM, click on Tasks.
- Select Import, then either From IDM export file or From text file.
- Choose the appropriate file from a backup you created in the past, and the list will load almost immediately. Do note that the content depends on the backup export option you picked (download queue, all files, or selected files). Thus, your list may be shorter than you remember.
Unsurprisingly, this technique requires you to have been diligent and made regular backups of your download lists. If you weren’t (by clicking Export, then To text file or To IDM file), we doubt you took measures we’ll explain next. They’re more complex and concern one part of Windows most people don’t want to mess with.
2. Recover your IDM download list from the registry
Although not officially recommended, many IDM users prefer to take a backup of a registry key for Internet Download Manager. That makes it easy to restore download lists, custom download locations (we’ll mention those in a moment), and a plethora of in-software settings. If by chance you were one, you need to find the registry key (.reg) you exported. Then, if you have been using your IDM for a while, we suggest taking a backup of the current configuration and lists as a precaution. Follow these steps to find and manage IDM in Windows Registry Editor:
- Open the Start menu and search for “regedit”.
- Open Registry Editor or regedit.
- Head to
- Right-click the DownloadManager folder in the list on the very left, then select Export. It may say Export Folder on older versions of Windows. Save the .reg file somewhere.
- Now that you safely backed up the current registry key for IDM, it’s time to open the one you saved in the past. Double-click the old .reg file, and give the Registry the necessary permissions.
- Restart your computer, open IDM, and it should load with old download list and settings.
How to find files downloaded through IDM
We realize not all users want the list of downloaded items. Well, unless you performed a wipe of your computer, restoring previous registry settings returned the old download paths. Therefore, the files may still be there. Here’s how to proceed to find them:
- Open IDM.
- In the top menu, click on Downloads, then Options from the drop-down menu.
- Switch to the Save to tab, which might be Downloads in the previous versions.
- Note the file path under “Automatically put in General category the following file types” and open it in Windows Explorer. You can also click the Browse button to open it immediately. That’s where the finished downloads end up.
- If you feel like the files you seek were corrupted or the download was interrupted, look at the file path under “Temporary directory.” Again, you can go there via Windows Explorer (the folder may be hidden, so you need to Show hidden files in Windows) or click the Browse button.
- In the case of downloaded files, you can find data you forgot. While perhaps an incomplete list, it can help you a lot. As for temporary ones, you need to open the DwnlData folder, then head into the Administrator one. Temporary or corrupted files will be inside separate folders.
- In both cases, we suggest moving these files to a safe directory. That way, you won’t lose them if you switch the file path.
3. Use data recovery software to find Internet Download Manager files
If you don’t have a backup or had one, but it was erased during a system wipe or mistakenly deleted, the only option that remains is to use a data recovery software for Windows. Thus, follow these instructions to recover the IDM download list or downloaded files via data restoration application:
- Download, install, and run a data rescue software. We used EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard we reviewed for this demonstration, although we are unaffiliated.
- Open the EaseUS software, then under “PC Recovery” select the volume where the backup for IDM download list or the files you downloaded were, such as (C:). You can also go to Select Folder and locate the aforementioned file paths or the custom location for the backup.
- The scan starts and may take a while. Once it finishes, you’ll see files it managed to find sorted into categories (Videos, Word, Audio, and so on) or the broader categories such as Deleted Files and Other Lost Files.
- Put checkmarks in front of those you want to get back, click the Recover button, and select the directory for saving. You can now import the backup or open the downloaded files.