Where Is that File I Just Downloaded?

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 21, 2018)

Beth, like many people, periodically downloads things from the Internet, but she has difficulty figuring out where those downloaded files are located on her system. She wonders if there is a way to know where a file is downloaded or to control where things go.

In the not-too-distant past you had to be quite attentive when downloading files from the Web. Otherwise you may not have known where your downloads went. Fortunately, the newest versions of the more popular browsers have much better download control. Where downloaded files are saved is entirely under the control of the browsers themselves.

Microsoft Edge

In Edge, downloads are saved, by default, to the following folder


\Users\user\Downloads\

Of course, you can always do a "Save as" to direct a download to another location, in which case you would know the alternative location. If you want to change your default download location, choose the Settings and More icon to the far right of the search/address bar. From the resulting dropdown menu choose Settings. The Settings menu is shown. Scroll down and choose Advanced Settings, which opens the Advanced Settings menu. In the Advanced Settings menu scroll down to the Downloads section and choose Change. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Edge's Download Options dialog box.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Explorer saves downloads, by default, to the same default location as Microsoft Edge. If you want to change your default download location, click the icon that looks like a cog wheel, under the Close button, and choose the View Downloads menu option. This brings up a list of your previously downloaded files but also gives you the option to change the download location. Click the Options link and you are presented with the Download Options dialog box where you can browse to select a new default location for your downloads. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Internet Explorer's Download Options dialog box.

Google Chrome

In the Chrome browser, downloads are stored in the same folder, by default, as they are in Microsoft Edge, and Internet explorer. There are two ways to change the download location. First is to click the Customize and Control Google Chrome icon to the right of the address box and select Settings. In the resulting Settings dialog box, click the Main Menu icon next to the left of the title Settings in the blue bar. From the dropdown menu choose Advanced, then click on Downloads. In the resulting screen choose Change under the Downloads section.

Alternatively, the faster method is to type chrome://settings/downloads in the address bar and press Enter. In the resulting screen choose Change under the Downloads section. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Chrome's Download Options window.

Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, downloads also go to the same default folder as in Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer and Chrome. But, again, you can change it if you like. Click the Open Menu icon to the far right of the search/address bar. From the resulting drop-down menu choose Options. On the resulting page scroll down to Downloads in the Files and Applications section. Click on the Browse button to change the downloads location. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. Firefox's Download Options window.

By knowing and controlling the location your web browser saves your downloads, you can stay on top of the often-unending list of downloaded files.

 This tip (12262) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Adjusting Display Magnification

Sometimes our eyes fail us, or what we're trying to read is just too small to make out comfortably. Fortunately, Windows ...

Discover More

Permanently Deleting a File

If you have a file that you're sure you want to permanently delete (instead of having it go to the Recycle Bin) it's an ...

Discover More

Specifying a Copy Schedule in Robocopy

There are a few ways to set up a copy schedule in Robocopy by using its options. This tip explains how.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Deleting a Saved Search

Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to delete a previously saved search ...

Discover More

Opening a File with a Program Other than the Default

Windows determines a program to use with a particular file based on the file's type. If you want to temporarily override ...

Discover More

Displaying All the Files in a Folder using Explorer

Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One easy way to do it is by using the Windows ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.