Downloaded Fonts not Showing in Windows

I recently decided to design a logo for a new blog that someone I knew was about to start. While looking through the fonts installed on my computer, I couldn’t find the right font to use. I didn’t have any additional fonts other than the ones that were installed with Windows XP, so I decided to search online for some new fonts.

I was able to find two fonts that I thought would work for the logo, so I downloaded and extracted the fonts into the correct directory. When I opened up Photoshop to use the new fonts, they didn’t show up in the list. I also checked Word to see if they appeared there, but they weren’t available in that application as well.

I decided to look into the problem and see if I can get the fonts to work properly. I did manage to fix the problem, and have provided to solutions you can try if you are having problems with installing fonts.

Extract and Copy Method

Most fonts that you download from the Web are usually compressed inside zip files. To use these fonts, you will first need to extract the font file and then copy it to the correct directory.

  1. Open up the zip file in your application of choice, such as WinZip. If you don’t have Winzip, or an alternative application, Windows XP can natively open up zip files in Windows Explorer.
  2. Extract the file to the fonts directory, which is usually C:\Windows\Fonts.
  3. Open up the application you plan to use with the font and see if it appears in the list. If it does, then you have successfully installed the font. Continue on if you don’t see the font in the list.

Using the Font Thing Application

If the first method did not install the font correctly, you can always use a font manager application. These help you manage the many fonts that may be installed on your computer. The application I used was an old application (circa 1999), but I was able to use it with no problems on Windows XP. The application is called The Font Thing.

  1. Follow the first method, but instead of copying the font file to the fonts directory, copy the file to another directory on your computer.
  2. Download The Font Thing from the author’s Web site. The download link is in the upper right corner of the Web page.
  3. Install the application on your computer by unzipping the zip archive to a folder on your computer and running the setup.exe file.
  4. Run The Font Thing application and then click the Browse tab on the left side of the screen.
  5. Navigate to the folder that your uncompressed your font into in step 1. The font should be listed on the left below the directories.
  6. Select the font in the list, and then click Install in the toolbar. There should now be an icon (looks like the old Windows logo) beside the font in the list to indicate that it was installed.
  7. Open up the application you plan to use with the font and see if it appears in the list. If it does, then you have successfully installed the font.

If you are still having problems with the font, try downloading another font that looks similar from another site and see if you can install that one. Some of the free font files may not be recognized by the application so you may not have success with all fonts. I have only downloaded a few fonts, but have not had any problems with them.


In this post I provided two methods that I have used to install fonts successfully. My recent problems with installing fonts was solved by using The Font Thing application. There are other font management applications on the market, but this was small, free and easy to use.

One Response to “Downloaded Fonts not Showing in Windows”

  1. Michael says:

    Can’t be bothered to download fonts

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