Moving Your Downloads Folder

by Barry Dysert
(last updated November 14, 2016)

The Downloads folder is, of course, the folder into which your downloaded files are placed, by default. It typically resides at the following location on your system (replace <user> with the appropriate user name on the system):

C:\Users\<user>\Downloads

You may want to move your downloads folder to somewhere else—perhaps to another drive to free up some disk space on drive C:. To do this, use Windows Explorer (Windows 7) or File Explorer (later versions of Windows) to navigate to the folder that contains the Downloads folder. For example, on my system I navigated to the following directory:

C:\Users\bdysert\

I could then see the Downloads folder visible in the Explorer window. I right-clicked the folder and chose Properties from the resulting Context menu. In response, Windows displayed the Downloads Properties dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Changing the location of the Downloads folder.

On the Location tab I can specify a path to the folder where I want downloads stored. When I click OK, Windows asks me if I want to move the existing files (the ones I previously downloaded) to the new location. Assuming you're moving the folder to free up disk space on C:, you would click Yes to this prompt and your Downloads folder and all that it contains will be moved.

Note that if you ever want to move things back to their default location of "C:\Users\<user>", you can go through the same procedure, but click the Restore Default button on the Location tab of the Downloads Properties dialog box, and everything will be moved back.

 This tip (12832) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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