How-To Download signs in different directions

Published on February 1st, 2024 | by Sandy Writtenhouse

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How to Change the Downloads Folder for Your Web Browser

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If you have trouble finding your downloads or obtain files from various sites often and want to decide where they should go each time, you’re not stuck with your browser’s default settings. We’ll show you how to change the downloads folder for your web browser as well as force your browser to ask you where to save the files.

We’ll cover five common web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari.

Change the Chrome Downloads Folder

If you’re a Google Chrome user, not only can you choose the default location for downloads and ask you each time, but you can also enable a setting to show you the downloads when they’re complete.

Open Chrome and follow these steps to access the settings:

  1. Select the Customize and control Google Chrome icon (three dots) on the top right of the browser window and choose Settings.
Chrome Settings option
  1. On the Settings screen, use the Main menu button (three lines) on the top left to display all settings.
Chrome main menu icon
  1. On the left, pick Downloads.
Downloads in the Chrome Settings
  1. Adjust the Downloads settings on the right. Use the Change button to select a default folder and enable the toggles to ask where to save files and/or show downloads when they’re done.
Downloads Settings in Chrome

You can then close the Chrome Settings.

Change the Firefox Downloads Folder

Similar to Chrome, you can choose the default downloads folder and ask where to save the files with each download in Mozilla Firefox. Additionally, you can pick how to handle the files you download.

Open Firefox and follow the below steps to open the settings:

  1. Select the Open application menu icon (three lines) on the top right of the window and pick Settings.
Firefox Settings option
  1. On the Settings screen, choose General on the left.
  1. Scroll down to the Files and Applications section.
  1. Below Downloads, use the Browse or Choose button to select a default folder and check the box to ask where to save files.
Downloads in the Firefox Settings
  1. Below Applications, use the drop-down menu to the right of each Content Type to pick how to deliver the file. You’ll see options for Save FileAlways Ask, and the default application for that file type.
  1. Underneath the box, mark the option for how you want Firefox to handle other file types not listed above it. Pick either Save files or Ask whether to open or save files.
Applications in the Firefox Settings

You can then close the Firefox Settings.

Change the Edge Downloads Folder

Are you a Microsoft Edge user? Adjusting the location and settings for your downloads is just as easy as the above web browsers. Plus, you have a couple of additional options.

Open Edge and do the following to access the settings:

  1. Select the Settings icon (gear) in the bottom right corner of the window.
Edge Settings option
  1. On the Settings screen, choose Downloads on the left.
  1. Adjust the Downloads settings on the right. Use the Change button to select a default folder and enable the toggles to ask where to save files and/or show the menu when downloads begin. You can also turn on the option to open Office Files in the Edge browser instead of downloading them.
Edge Downloads Settings

You can then close the Edge Settings.

Change the Opera Downloads Folder

Some users prefer the Opera web browser over all others. If this is you, you can change your downloads settings in just minutes.

Open Opera and follow these steps to view the settings:

  1. Select the Easy setup icon (three lines) on the top right.
  1. Scroll down the pop-up window and pick Go to full browser settings.
Opera Settings option
  1. On the Settings screen, choose Browser on the left.
  1. Scroll down to the Downloads section.
  1. Use the Change button to select a default downloads folder and optionally turn on the toggle to ask where to save files before downloading them.
Opera Downloads Settings

You can then close the Opera Settings.

Change the Safari Downloads Folder

If you’re a Mac user, then you likely use Safari as your preferred web browser. And, you can change its downloads settings in a snap.

Open Safari and follow the steps below to access the settings:

  1. Select Safari > Settings in the menu bar.
Safari Settings in the menu bar
  1. Go to the General tab of the pop-up window.
  1. Use the drop-down menu next to File downloaded location to pick the folder or to be asked each time.
  1. Optionally, check the box at the bottom for Open “safe” files after downloading.
Safari Downloads Settings

You can then close the Safari Settings.

By setting the default location for your downloads or choosing to be asked for each download, you can save time from searching for your downloaded files or even moving them around when you receive them.

What’s your preference for files you download from the web? Do you want everything in your system’s Downloads folder, a different location, or do you like to be asked each time? Let us know!

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About the Author

has a BS in Information Technology and worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She then decided to follow her dream and now writes about technology full-time.



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