Where Are My Downloads On the Mac

Apr 22, 2020 | Apple macOS

Downloads of email attachments or media from the internet are saved to the Downloads folder. This folder is located in the grey sidebar on the left-hand side of the Finder.

The full path is Macintosh HD>Users>UserName>Downloads.

These are basic principles, but when people need Mac help, this is a question I am often asked.

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Can I Change The Download Location?

Yes. You can choose any download location on your Mac.

  • Open Safari.
  • Click on Safari in the menu bar and choose Preferences…
  • Click on the General tab.
  • Locate “File download location’ and use the dropdown menu to choose where you want downloads to go.
  • Many people choose the Desktop it’s easier to find and manage files from here.
Download Location On The Mac

How Can I Manage My Download Folder?

Think of your Downloads folder as an Inbox. It is not a place to store things.

Here are some rules to follow:

Email attachments – If you need to keep them, move documents into the Documents folder, pictures into Photos and music into iTunes. Delete any files left  in the Downloads folder.

Zip Files – Unzip the file. Delete the original zip file. Store or delete what was located inside the zip file.

Application Installs – Applications come in 2 forms. .dmg (disk image) or .pkg )package files). After installing the Application, delete the .dmg or .pkg files. You may need to eject the .dmg file in the Finder first.

Movies – Delete or import into Photos after watching.

The goal, as with any inbox, is to keep the Downloads folder relatively empty.

My Downloads Folder Is A Disaster. What Do I Do?

If your downloads folder is filled with hundreds of files, don’t despair.

We’ll be covering the ‘cleanup process’ in a future post.

Freaked out and need help . . . Call – (310) 621-5679 for help now.

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Have a great week.


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