View/Play Unfinished Downloads

Hey People!

While downloading we are unsure about whether what we are downloading is totally legit, that is, is it what we are expecting from it or not?

Photo By Pixomar,

Today I'm gonna help you rectify that menace, partially, by giving a method to View / Play unfinished Video or Audio Downloads, while downloading, so that we can know exactly what it is gonna be like.

Other file types, like .RAR, .EXE, etc. are not inclusive in this. Although only a few .RAR, .ZIP Files can be viewed, in an unfinished download, while Downloading it.

Now, Downloads can be done in two ways: From a Download Manager, like IDM (Internet Download Manager) or from the browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Explanation for both the types will be tried by me, now.


So as I said, it is sometimes required to view incomplete Downloads, before they are actual come to culmination, in order to view their contents. This way, can currently only be applied to Video files like .FLV (Flash Videos), .MP4, .AVI, .MKV, ETC.

OR Audio Files like .MP3, .WMA, .WAV, etc.

It cannot be used for package files like .RAR, .EXE, .ZIP, .TAR etc.


Well, maybe there exists a method to view unfinished downloads of other file types, like .EXE or .RAR, beforehand, but it is not in my knowledge.

Let me give you an example to show which kinds of files are actually supported:

If you have a Video or an Audio File, can you trim/cut it? Ofcourse, yes, with a good Video Editing Software. we can have only the part of that file, which we need.

Now, consider a Package File, like .RAR, can you trim / cut it, so that you have only some files, out of what contents they have?
The answer would be No. One cannot simply delete a few files from a .RAR kind of File. Well, atleast it's not in my knowledge!

LOL!!! The above line reminded me of a popular meme troll from the movie, Lord of the Rings: One does not simply...

Coming back to the topic. What one can do is that, Extract the Compressed Package File, like .RAR OR .ZIP, choose the files that are needed, in the package & then Compress them again.

So only the files, like Videos/Audios, where one segment of the file does not affect the next or any other segment, can be viewed before the completion of their download, by this way.

Videos & Audios are popular ones, in that category.


So the essential prerequisites for properly view Downloads before their actual completion, would be a good Media Player Software on your computer, like VLC Media Player, which is very much capable of playing these Video and Audio Files.

Here's the link of the official website for VLC Media Player:

Visit Now


So finally, enough talk now! :P , now let us arrive at the methods of Playing Audio or Video files, before the completion of their download. There will be four ways, in discussion:

Note: It is recommended, not to play the file, at the instant of its completion, playing it then, may lead to it Corruption.

A. Downloading via a Web-Browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.
B. Downloading via a Download Manager, like IDM (Internet Download Manager).
C. Downloading via a torrent client, like utorrent.
D. Viewing Unfinished compressed files, like .rar, .zip (only a few working)

Note: Do not use Illegal Torrents. Please use only Legal Torrents for downloading files.

All the above methods, have their own advantages & disadvantages. So depending upon the situation, you can use different ways on different occasions.

A. Downloading via Web-Browser on your OS (For Example Windows)

Image By digitalart,

This is the basic method used by users to Download files to their PC. It is employed by many. It is a little slower & downloads may get stuck in the middle, which are its cons. But as they say, there's something good in everything

But the good thing is that, this will play your Video/Audio File, before download completion, like it's Buffering! Whole data, which you have downloaded will be played by this, unlike IDM or utorrent, which play only the starting downloaded parts.

So the only way (out of all four, here) that can Download & play all the part that you've downloaded is this method.

Sometimes, the download ability using web-browsers may differ, like Google Chrome may not always start downloading .MP4 files, but might start playing them. In that case, Mozilla Firefox may be used, which first asks you, what to do (Save or Play).

Method to Play Files by Downloading via Web Browser, before finishing

So for using this, like always, start Downloading your Video or Audio File, using a Web Browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, using a Download link.

Now, where Downloaded file is saved, typically "Downloads" Folder in "My Documents" or "Documents", or "Downloads" Folder in the Folder having your Computer's Name, wherever it is, it's utter to know its Location. Let us Consider, it on "Desktop".

There, you'll see a file, with an extension, ".crdownload" in case of Google Chrome & ".part" in case of Mozilla Firefox. We simply need to open this using VLC Media Player.

So Either drag it into VLC Media Player, or Double-Click it, to select a program from the list of programs, finally choosing VLC Media Player.

Viola! Your Media File is now playing, like it's buffering, before download completion.

B. Downloading via a Download Manager, like IDM

You can also or might already be using a Download Manager like IDM, to download files from the internet. Download Managers are very good. IDM is one of the best of them.

It's engine is really advanced, focussing completely on your downloads, making sure that the Download doesn't stop in the middle, providing the maximum possible speed, which is vividly visible, by comparing it to the default Browser's Downloader.

One of the best features is that, it divides the file, currently being downloaded, into several parts, which enables it to have awesome speed, but this also has a little Con, as far as Viewing unfinished files is concerned!

Here's my personal review on Internet Download Manager (IDM):

View Now

Here's the official Internet Download Manager (IDM) Website link, where it can be downloaded & installed:

Visit Now

Method to Play Files by Downloading via IDM, before finishing

First, let us see the method to play Unfinished Video/Audio downloads with IDM (Internet Download Manager).

Here also, it is required to go-to the temporary location, where IDM stores its Unfinished Downloads.

Note: This might not be the location, where you find COMPLETED Downloads.

To go to IDM Unfinished Downloads default Location, see the following ways:

1. By Default, the location is as follows, in Windows 7:

C:\Users\(Your Computer's Name)\AppData\Roaming\IDM\DwnlData\(Your Computer's Name)

where "(Your Computer's Name)" should be the name of your PC.

You can straight away, copy the above location & after inputting your Computer's Name, you can simply Paste & Go for it in Windows Explorer. Even, a web Browser can be used!

If you don't know it, there's another method, Don't Worry!

2. First up, it is required to enable Viewing of Hidden Files & Folders on your Windows. To do it:

  • Open any Window in Windows Explorer, like "My Computer" or "Computer".
  • Press the Keyboard "Alt" key & choose the "Tools" option on top.
  • Click on "Folder Options" & then "View" Tab, on the Dialog Box that appears.
  • Under "Files and Folders", there will be an option "Show Hidden files, folders and drives".
  • Click on that & Press the "Apply" and finally "OK" button.
As the next step, tor each IDM's Temporary Downloads Folder, click on start Menu & then the Folder named with -(Your Computer's Name)-.

Then "AppData", next "Roaming", further "IDM", then "DwnlData" and finally (Your Computer's Name) again, to reach at the right spot.

Above Screenshot shows the location

A long location, isn't it?

The way to finally View/Play the media files, being downloaded with IDM, will now be commenced:

Just Sort your files, according to "Date" or "date modified", to see the latest files, at first. They'll have the downloaded parts by IDM. Simply Play the first part or Video/Audio File, by dragging it into VLC Media Player or by Double clicking it & then choosing a program from list-VLC Media Player.

Now, the thing is that, only the first Downloaded Part will be played, rest will not! So even though, IDM provides great Speed & Completion of Downloads (its Pros), it still isn't fully effective to play the whole Downloaded file completely.

But that's OK, isn't it?

C. Downloading via a torrent client- utorrent

So now, in the updated version of uTorrent, there is also an ability to make it put more priority to the parts of the Video/Audio files, which come at first, in order to stream it.

Although, it doesn't buffer completely downloaded file, but still is effective! Here's the link for the official website of uTorrent, where you can download & install it:

Note: Do not use Illegal Torrents. Please use only Legal Torrents for downloading files.

First a little preparation, to have the "Stream" option in the latest uTorrent. The bar showing Column Names, like "#", "Name", "Size", "Seeds", "Peers", etc. is essential. I don't know what it is called! (maybe Navigation Bar or Status Bar) :P

Simply Right-click it. Options showing which items to be viewed will be up. In that, select the "Steam" option.

Now, we're all ready for viewing the Media Torrents, even before completion of their downloads. For doing so:

1. Find & start downloading a Torrent, containing an Audio or Video Files.
2. In uTorrent, Main Window, click on the "Stream" option, available in front of that Torrent.
3. Select the file you want to stream. You'll then be shown some info, like "Ready in 3 minutes" or so.
4. Wait for some time, after that time gets over.
5. Then simply visit the Download location, where you're storing the data being downloaded with Torrent. In that, play your file, being downloaded.

Don't worry it will play!

D. Viewing Unfinished compressed files

I've created this separate section, just to let you know a little trick to verify the correctness of a Compressed file you're Downloading, if it has been given in Parts on the internet.

Sometimes, huge Compressed files (.rar, .zip, .tar, etc.) are given in parts of smaller files, which can be combined later on, to avoid the hassle of uploading files having huge size.

 So for them, I'll recommend you to download the first part only and Open it with a software like WinRAR.

You can get WinRAR, on the following website, if you need:

Now WinRAR, will open the file, there just try to Extract it (it'll definitely not extract 100%), with which you can check two things:

1. Whether the file is okay or corrupt. If it commences extracting, then it must be fine.

2. Whether it has been Password-Protected: If the file is Password Protected, then you can check whether the Password you have, (by inputting it) works or not. If not, ask the uploader to give you the right one.

So this precaution can save you a lot of bandwidth, that you'd have put on downloading Large set of Compressed files (in parts), only to know, that Password doesn't work or it's corrupt.


After talking about the features & the Applications of all the methods to see Unfinished Downloads (mostly Audio or Video), before completing them. It is time to observe, which method to be used in what Circumstances.

1. Downloading via Web Browser

So while downloading using the Default method, the Web-Browser, it is necessary to note that it doesn't produce good Speeds & Resume-capability, if the uploading Servers, from where you are getting the file are normal (not super-active!).

But on the other hand, this way, buffers the whole Downloaded file (does not in parts).

Considering the above inferences, I reckon to use the Web-Browser method, when the servers are strong, like downloading from Google Drive & when you need to Completely buffer the file along with Download.

In case, your internet is slow & has higher Connection time, it is not recommended to use this.

2. Downloading via IDM

So IDM is great, it will give you the maximum speeds possible, from your internet's Downloading & server's uploading AND as long as the server provides you the Download, you can Pause & Resume it anytime, even after computer Restart.

But only a first selected (by IDM) segment of the IDM can be played.

So make sure to use IDM, in those cases, where you want speed, & can sacrifice Complete viewing of Unfinished Downloads.

3. Since downloading via uTorrent, has no other options (other than using a Torrent client), this is preferred in case of Torrents.

You might now tell me, "You don't say!", in Sarcasm tone! (:P)

4. Downloading Compressed files

Downloading first part of Compressed file & then checking it, at first, is like a tip. Make sure to implement it.

That's it, from my side, now!

Photo By Boians Cho Joo Young,

I hope you liked the way to View Unfinished Downloads.

Also, you can comment with your own review, query or even to contact me. I can be connected from the "Contact Me" option on the website, also. It has a few private options too!


Please Ask your question/Give your opinion, here, I love to read User Comments.

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