How to Find Recent Downloads on a Computer

Finding the location of recent downloads depends on the Web browser and operating system used on a computer. There are usually several different methods to locate recent downloads on a Mac or PC.

Microsoft Edge v41 and earlier or Internet Explorer v9-11 on Windows 8-10

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are the default Web browsers on the Windows operating systems. These Web browsers automatically place recently downloaded files into a default folder called Downloads. To access this folder, users should open a Windows Explorer window and, in the pane on the left-hand side, click once on the Downloads folder. Users can also find this folder by typing in the file location C:UsersUsernameDownloads, but replace “Username” with the unique username they have given their computer accounts.

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer users can have their recently downloaded files placed in a specific default folder that they designate. Users should open the Web browser, and in Settings, click on View Advanced Settings. They can then scroll down to the section titled Downloads and click on Change to select or create a folder where they would like their recent downloads to be placed in the future.

Google Chrome on Windows 8-10

Google Chrome is another Web browser that, by default, places all recently downloaded files into the Downloads folder in Windows. It can be accessed in the same way as files downloaded from Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. Users who have forgotten where they specified files to be placed, or those who wish to change the location of future downloads, can find these settings in the Google Chrome browser. First, users should open Google Chrome and click on Settings in the menu. They can then click on Advanced at the bottom of the Settings page and scroll down until they find the section called Downloads. Google Chrome users can opt to have the Web browser ask where they would like to place a file every time one is downloaded, or they can select a location to automatically place all downloaded files.

Safari v7.0 on Mac OSX

Those who are Mac OS users have a slightly different process for finding the location of their recently downloaded files. The default Web browser on Mac computers is Safari. Users of this Web browser can locate their Downloads folder by clicking on Downloads located on the Dock. Another method for navigating to the Downloads folder for Safari users is to click on Go from the Finder, and then click on Downloads.

Mac and Safari users who want to specify which folder they want to send their files to are unable to change their preferences. The files can be moved after they are downloaded, but users will always find them defaulted to the Downloads folder.

Google Chrome on Mac OSX

Mac users who want to download files to a folder or location of their choosing should use Google Chrome. Similar to Windows users, Google Chrome used on a Mac also automatically sends downloaded files to the Downloads folder by default. However, Google Chrome allows Mac users to also specify the location of a downloaded file. First, users should open the Google Chrome browser, click on Chrome and then click on Preferences. Then, users can scroll down to Advanced Settings, and in the Downloads section, there is the option to choose a designated folder to send all future downloads. Users can also select the option to choose a specific folder each time they download a file.