When using the Chrome or Safari browser to download files to your Mac, they by default go to the “Downloads” folder, which can be found in your user Home directory. However, due to disk space issues, or just by personal preference, you may wish to tell your browser to save your download files in another location. Here’s how.
How to Change the Default Download Folder Location in Chrome
- Open the Chrome browser on your Mac and go to Chrome’s Settings, either by choosing “Preferences…” from the Chrome menu or by entering “chrome://settings/” in the address bar
- Scroll down until you see the “Show advanced settings…” link. Click the link
- Again, scroll down a bit until you see the “Downloads” section. Click on the “Change…” button found to the right of the “Download location:” field
- Select the new location you where you want Chrome to save downloaded files to by default
- Exit Settings by closing the tab, and return to using Chrome as normal
How to Change the Default Download Folder Location in Safari
- Open the Safari browser on your Mac and go to Safari’s Settings by choosing “Preferences…” from the Safari menu
- Click the “General” tab in the Preferences window that appears. (It’s the first tab on the left)
- Look for the “File download location” option. Click the pull-down menu to the right of the option
- Now, you can either click “Ask for each download,” which means Safari will prompt you for a save location each time you download a file, or you can click the “Other…” option, which will open a file browser you can use to select a new location you where you want Safari to save downloaded files to by default. Click “Select” to set the new location.
- Close the Settings dialog by clicking the red “X” in the upper left-hand corner, and return to using Safari as normal
Now, whenever you download a file using either browser, the file will be downloaded by default to the drive and folder you selected. I use a directory I made on an external hard drive. This keeps my main hard drive from filling up with downloaded files.
For more tips and tricks on how to make better use of your Mac, iOS device, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, be sure to visit the MacTrast How To section of our website.