A Beginner’s Guide to the Mac Downloads Folder

A typical problem new Mac users have is a Downloads folder that quickly fills with lots of files taking up a large amount of hard drive space. The Downloads folder is the default location for web downloads and it can be easy to forget to maintain it. It is accessible like any other Finder folder and you can easily sort it and delete or move items from it to keep it clean.

Comments: 10 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to the Mac Downloads Folder”

    Shirley
    2 years ago

    Another way that is easier is to change the Safari Preference> General> File download location: to Desktop. That way you can’t forget to use the download or get rid of it and any DMG or Zip files too.

    Jan Franklin
    2 years ago

    We have found that double clicking the listing in the Downloads log/list will also commence the download without having to resort to the Downloads folder…then of course on successful installation, delete the entry from the latter folder to keep it clean…unless you are given the opportunity to delete the installer after successfully installing (in High Sierra, maybe Sierra too?)

    Chris Thornton
    2 years ago

    When i have downloaded a photo and it is in the photo section.Can I delete it in the download folder?

    2 years ago

    Chris: Do you mean you have download a photo, and then imported it into your Photos library in the Photos app? Yes, you can now delete the original file in the Download folder. The only exception would be if you are using a non-default option in Photos to not import the photos files.

    Carol
    2 years ago

    how do I delete things out of the downloads folder?

    2 years ago

    Carol: The same way you delete any file: move it to the trash.

    Mireille
    2 years ago

    That was very informative; I thought the Download Folder was just a repository. Thanks to you, I’ve been cleaning up the Download Folder. However, I have a lot of “.dmg” files–Silverlight, Flip4Mac, Adobe Flash, etc. Is it permissible to delete these files? Please HELP!!!!

    2 years ago

    Mireille: Those that you listed sound like installers. Installers are often left over in the Downloads folder when you are done installing. You can delete them. You can always re-download them (more recent versions too) if you need them again.

    Mary Neal
    2 years ago

    Is it safe to delete music files if they are subsequently opened in iTunes by default?

    2 years ago

    Mary: Have you imported the file into your iTunes library? If so, then the one in your Downloads folder would be a duplicate now.

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