Well, that is exactly what I am :).

I just can't stop myself from downloading stuff (usually electronic articles, say, PDFs). To be more precise, whenever I come across something that I think might be helpful to me (an arixv article, for instance), I'll try everything I can to get a copy onto my hard disk, even though most of the time it is not of the slightest use to me (and then I will yet try to convince myself that it might be helpful for "future reference"...).

Although the truth is I won't even take another look at most of the downloaded stuff as soon as I finish downloading, I still must keep downloading. Virtually everything that is useful, or seems to be useful, or looks as if it will be useful, I can't resist trying to download it. I confess that I seldom use any of my downloaded files, but just owning them, just knowing that they are right there stored in my hard disk, I will somehow feel a bliss, an incredible sense of security, just like a miser counting his gold coins.

So here I am, a hopeless "download-aholic". What word would you choose to best describe me?

  • 18
    You, are a librarian---seek immediate, and professional, help.
    – user98990
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 19:21
  • 6
    Um, apparently the answer is everybody ever.
    – Robusto
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:06
  • 3
    @LittleEva : only if they organize it for use. If they're only saving it for preservation purposes, they're an archivist. If they're not organizing it or cataloging it for potential future use, they're a hoarder. So, as my cookbook collection is organized by height to maximize shelf space, I'm an archivist. If I had if sorted by topic (regional, historical, beginner, celebrity, etc.), then it'd be a library. And as I still have a couple stacks and stuff that's still in boxes, I might be a hoarder.
    – Joe
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 23:46
  • 6
    Vim!! I have the solution for you, just 1 more download here -> hmpg.net
    – wim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 0:41
  • 4
    – Slade
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 1:20

8 Answers 8


Once again, the English language proves to be too slow to satisfy the growing need for computer-related solutions.

Until a word is created, I would probably go with the word (or some modified version of)

v. hoard - to amass a store of useful information or facts, retained for future use (n. form: hoarder)

StackExchange User @Vim is well known as an information hoarder.

From Oxford.

  • 4
    One may wonder if we even need computer-related words when words like "hoard" exist that can have multiple applications.
    – ebwb
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 19:13
  • 3
    Data hoarder has another meaning also. Here and here.
    – ermanen
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 19:23
  • 4
    How about e-hoarder? Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:20
  • 5
    I like the term hoarder for most of the described situation - but I would first imagine someone who feels a need to keep everything they download, without thinking of a "need to continually download". To me, it sounds like Vim is both an e-hoarder and a download addict. ;) Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:27
  • 2
    Well, inspired by your answer I think at least I'm definitely a "PDF-hoarder" ;)
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 2:41

I would say (if I had that compulsion) that I was an e-hoarder.

  • 10 signs you're an e-hoarder - Network World
  • e-hoarder (Electronic-HOARDER) - A person or company that holds onto electronic data for years longer than necessary. The cost of disk storage has become so inexpensive that many... are reluctant to spend the time to erase what is no longer necessary, and cleanup is often postponed.
  • Warning: you may be an e-hoarder - Integreon

e-hoarder gets 1,450,000 hits on Google.

Another possibility is digital hoarder, but I think e-hoarder is perfectly understandable.

  • 3
    1,450,000 hits is an illusion. You have to put in quotes and check till the last page. So we get the number 215. But it is a great word! [I think this Google search illusion can be a meme, I fell into that trap too :) ]
    – ermanen
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 19:44
  • 1
    @ermanen Consider it as such.
    – ebwb
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:05
  • Good answer. As for the validity of this word, just go to COCA and have a check.
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 3:08
  • Well, can't find on COCA. But it might be the word is too new. But I believe the word is currently in good use, anyway there are so many people there who match the description!
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 3:16
  • @ermanen That is only true if you allow google to filter the similar results. If you look on the last page you will see a link that repeats the search without that filtering, showing you all of the promised 2500 results that it says it found with quotes
    – Kyeotic
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:28

Well, you are a download addict. But today, it is more like a torrent addiction.

Here are the signs of download addiction from an article titled "Are You a Download Addict?":

  • You know every nook and cranny of the Internet.
  • You don’t give up searching.
  • You download queue is never empty.
  • You frequently check the download status.
  • You sacrifice everything else just to download.
  • You are running out of disk space.
  • You place sentimental value to your downloads.


Apparently, downloadaholic is used also, mostly in forums.

There is also another contemporary type of a download addict: appoholic.

When a person is addicted to downloading apps, mostly useless apps that they use once or twice and then forget about. Most common with little kids who own iPads and tablets.


  • Well, to be honest I perhaps don't perfectly qualify as a download addict, given these syndromes on your list. Like, I certainly don't know every nook and cranny of the Internet and I don't keep a downloading queue either.... But as to the last term, oh yes! I definitely place *a great deal of * sentimental value to my downloads , they give me sense of security and I couldn't even bear the thought of losing my E-Brary data. ;)
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 3:03
  • 1
    @Vim: Of course signs are a bit exaggarated (for humor). If you download a lot and if you place sentimental value on your downloads, then you are a download addict already. And I think hoarder might be the next step. It is just keeping any data you have and it is not necessarily from downloading.
    – ermanen
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:47

I do like the term "information hoarder". It fits pretty well with how I see my own overly prolific collection of files - they always contain some useful information, but I only ever refer to a small percentage of that information.

However, I feel it's worth taking note of the term "digital packrat". While not in wide use, this term has been around for several years, is considered a serious problem by some, and has been addressed by various professionals in relevant fields. That last article actually discusses a distinction between hoarding and being a packrat, though I don't know how valid that distinction would turn out to be in common usage.


I would like to suggest, as an alternative, archivist. This is the term preferred by Jason Scott of Archive Team who has led the efforts of archiving everything from text files and shareware CDs, to Geocities and MSDOS games. I know the answer slightly misses the point of question since it doesn't describe the behavior as a morbid condition, but if you ever need a more neutral description, archivist might be your choice.

  • I like that one as it's media agnostic.
    – BanksySan
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:44
  • Now found out my title - I'm an archivist!
    – elquimista
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 12:42

I think


would be the most appropriate thing here.

It's referring to an irrational acquisition of books, it's not perfect, but I think it's the word that whatever the new word will be should derive from.

  • Perhaps with a prefix "e"?
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 16:35
  • Too easy. I hope it' a more interesting word then that, but it probably won't. Book because eBook. sigh.
    – BanksySan
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 16:53

"Datamizer" from "Data Miser" but with a "z" to slang it up a bit or a more 1337-ish version of "Dowzer" from "Download Miser" (again with a 'z').

Cheers :)

  • Hi micmanos, welcome to ELU! I've never heard of datamizer before. Could you link to a reference by any chance?
    – Adam
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 7:31
  • @Adam And Google doesn't know the two words either. I'm almost sure that mic just invented them.
    – Vim
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 8:06
  • To be clear, inventing words is not allowed on this site. Also, a "miser" is more properly someone who avoids spending resources, not someone who collects junk. Commented May 17, 2015 at 4:01
  • To be clear, inventing words is allowed on this site but their etymology should be clearly expressed and it should also be noted that it is a neologism. And then run the gauntlet of votes. Here, leet-speak may need to be explained.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 9:54

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Faust Complex

The obsessive desire for knowledge to the virtual exclusion of all else

or the, quite appropriate in this context, term, infornography a portmanteau of information and pornography.

  1. The abuse or excessive use of information.

which appears in the anime Serial Experiments: lain, as the name of the eleventh episode.

In the anime, a girl connects to the net and starts collecting information massively, simply because she can. This leads to trouble, as many secrets are unveiled in her inquisitive, unfettered search.


Those NSA guys are the worst kind of infornographers.

  • Sorry but I'm afraid I don't agree with you. I think that's too exaggerating. And the "infornography" is definitely not appropriate here.
    – Vim
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 11:21
  • The underlying concept is the same. Hoarding stuff for future, albeit unlikely, need. You stumble across the web with something, since download speed and storage space are now less of a problem, you download it, because 'having' always bets 'not having'. The 'pornography' side of the term doesn't mean there is a sexual implication in the act of hoarding, but points to the enlightening example of hoarding pornographic material. People who hoard porn (highly redundant data) are not obsessed with porn itself, but with the act of hoarding, which applies here. Hope this clarifies it. Commented May 16, 2015 at 11:46

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