How to Change the Chrome Download Location

Jan 14, 2017 - 3 Comments


When you download any file in Chrome that file defaults to saving into the downloads folder, which resides int he users home directory. It’s generally recommended to preserve the default setting to save Chrome downloads into the user Downloads folder, but some individuals may wish to change where Chrome saves files to.

You can adjust the Chrome download location and set it to any other directory or folder by manually tweaking the apps settings.

Changing the Chrome Default Download Folder Location

This works to change the download folder location in Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can choose any directory to be the new location to save files to

  1. Open the Chrome app and then go to Chrome Settings by choosing “Preferences” from the Chrome menu, or by going to chrome://settings/
  2. Scroll down and choose “Show advanced settings”
  3. Look for the “Downloads” section and click on “Change” next to “Download location” *
  4. Select the new location to save downloaded files in Chrome to by default
  5. Exit Settings when finished and return to using Chrome as usual

* Optionally, you can have Chrome ask every time you save a file by checking the box for “Ask where to save each file before downloading” within the Downloads settings.

Remember, the default download location for Chrome is ~/Downloads on the Mac, which is the users Downloads folder in Mac OS which can be accessed from the Finder, the Dock, or through search. If you do change the directory where Chrome saves files to and wish to revert to the default setting, simply repeating the steps above and choosing the active user accounts Downloads directory will accomplish that.

Again, it’s generally recommended to leave the default download locations intact, as it makes retrieving and sorting through file downloads much easier, not just for one app but for all apps that use the ~/Downloads directory. Nonetheless, some users like to choose the Desktop for easy file access (just don’t leave too many files sitting around on the desktop as it can slow down a computer), or even an external volume to preserve disk space or distribute downloaded files across a network easier.

This is obviously really only applicable to those who use Chrome often, either as the default web browser on the Mac or as a browser for a specific task, but you can make similar changes to where things are saved in Safari, Firefox, and Opera as well.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks


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  1. HMK says:

    Anyone know how to have the download folder as the most recently download folder when Chrome does ask where to save it to?

    I forever have to invoke the Recent Places menu even if i’ve just downloaded to that very folder a second ago. Thanks!

  2. noway says:

    I recommend changing the DL location of Chrome and anything Google related to NOT YOUR DEVICES!!!!

    Google is the BIGGEST tracker and seller of user data in the world. Anything Google related is essentially spyware, so if you value your privacy and info, stay far, far away from Chrome and all Google related apps and websites.

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