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How Do I Get Rid Of the Original Downloads Folder That Lives On My iMac?

When iCloud Drive came along, it created another Downloads folder that is readable across all my devices. That folder has a generic folder icon. The original Downloads folder, which has a circular icon with a downward pointing arrow, is still in my Finder nav bar, but I cannot determine what use it is now that I use iCloud Drive. I am reluctant to delete it though. Can you shed some light on this?
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Darrell C

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Get Rid Of the Original Downloads Folder That Lives On My iMac?”

    9 months ago

    So what you are saying is that you have a Downloads folder on your Mac in your user Home folder. You also have a Downloads folder on iCloud Drive at the top level.

    The Home folder Downloads folder is the main one used by your Mac. But the newer Downloads folder in iCloud Drive is most likely the main one used by your iOS devices. The idea is that on iOS, you don’t really have any purely local files. You can, but what Apple is going for is all files in the cloud (I like that myself). But there needs to be a Downloads folder since you can download things in iOS just like on macOS.

    Now unless you have changed things, these two folders still serve their purposes. When you download something on your Mac, which folder does it go to? For me it goes to the local Home folder Downloads. But I’m wondering if you were to buy a new Mac in 2020 and there was nothing preset about it, and you used iCloud Drive right from the start, if it would use the iCloud folder on your Mac as well as on iOS?

    Either way, there is nothing for you really to do. You can continue to use both folders. If you really want to just use the one on iCloud Drive, then you’d need to set the download location in Safari, Preferences, General. Don’t forget the Mail app too, which has a setting for Downloads location. And there may be other apps as well, like other browsers.

    You can control which folders appear in the left sidebar of the Finder windows and in the Dock, so change which one is there as well, if you have a link to a Downloads folder at all.

    There is no need to delete one folder if you are not using it though. But if it is empty, there is no harm in deleting it either.

    Shirley
    9 months ago

    I change the place to download to my desktop in Safari preferences. Why? Because I may get interrupted and forget I’ve downloaded something.

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