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I would like to know the difference in meaning between "to save something to" and "to save something on/onto" in the context of technology.

Here are a couple of example sentences:

  1. Save the file to the hard disk.
  2. You can save the data on/onto your hard disk.

What does it imply "to save something to"?
What does it imply "to save something on/onto"?

Also, I wonder if "to save something ONTO" is idiomatic.

If I say

"Save the photo/document/audio TO/ON the computer/phone/camera/ipad" (do they both mean the same?)

"Save the photo/document/audio TO/ON 'C:\Windows\' " (do they both mean the same?)

2 Answers 2

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All of these expressions are possible and mean the same.

With modern technology, there is often variation because the language hasn't settled on one way of saying something.

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    If I say"Save the photo/document/audio TO/ON the computer/phone/camera/ipad", do they both mean the same? If I say"Save the photo/document/audio TO/ON 'C:\Windows\' ", do they both mean the same? Aug 3, 2019 at 19:59
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Save to is more straightforward when you want to put something into a container. Save on can have other uses such as Save on time (to meet a deadline) or Save on your budget (to spend less or avail discount).

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