Where are the files I downloaded using my web browser?

Updated: 12/09/2018 by Computer Hope

An image of a download.It's easy to lose track of the files you've downloaded with your web browser. The tips on this page will help you keep track of your downloads, and find the downloaded files on your computer.

Press Ctrl+J to view browser downloads

First, try pressing Ctrl+J (or ⌘+J on a Mac). On many browsers, this shortcut will open your Downloads interface. You can see downloads that have completed, and any downloads that are still in progress. If you double-click a file in the list, it will open or run. You can also click a button to open the folder on your computer where the file was downloaded.

In the example pictured here, a downloaded file is shown in the Firefox downloads window (called the "Library").

Screenshot: The Firefox downloads window (Library) in Windows 10.

For additional information about finding downloaded files in your operating system, continue reading the sections below.

View downloads on Microsoft Windows

Using your web browser

The Internet browser you use when downloading a file can determine where the file is saved. Most browsers save a file to a Downloads folder in your User profile folder on your computer.

Tip: The fastest way to view your recent downloads in Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera, is to press Ctrl+J on your keyboard. After the shortcut key combination is pressed, a downloads tab or window (shown below) will appear.

Download window

Tip: In the Internet browser options or settings, you can find where your download files are saved. You can then change that download location or leave it as it is.

Start MenuUsing the Start Menu

To access your downloads outside the browser, press the Windows key, type Downloads, and then press Enter.

In some cases, when you download a file, you may be presented with a pop-up dialog box asking if you want to Save the file or Run the file. If you select the Save option you can specify where to save the file including the desktop, Documents folder, or any other location.

In an Explorer window

You can also find your Downloads folder in any File Explorer window.Open a new explorer window by pressing Windows key+E.

Or, as pictured below, you can click the File Explorer icon on your Taskbar.

Running explorer from the Windows 10 taskbar

In your File Explorer window, you can navigate to your Downloads folder using the shortcut in the left pane or by clicking on Downloads under other headings such as Frequent Folders.

Finding the Downloads folder in a Windows 10 File Explorer window

Bonus Tip: Create a shortcut to your downloads folder to quickly get access to it from the desktop.

View downloads on an Apple Mac

From the Finder, you can open the Downloads folder by first clicking FileNew Finder Window, or pressing the Command key+N. Then, click Downloads the left pane.

OS X Download folder in a Finder window

You can also access your downloads using the link on the Dock. In the lower right side of the dock, click Downloads. Your most recent downloads will spring out of the dock.

OS X Downloads folder accessed on the Dock

Click on any icon to open that file.

View downloads on an Android phone

Nearly all Android devices have a Downloads "app" that is, by default, located in the same section as all of your other apps. This app (that is actually a folder) contains all of your recently acquired files. The apps folder on most Android devices may be accessed by using one of the buttons at the bottom of the home screen.

View downloads on an iPad and iPhone

On the iPad and iPhone, downloaded files are not saved or stored in a single location. Instead, downloaded files are associated and accessible through apps that can view the files.

For example, if a picture is downloaded, it can be found through the Photos app. If a PDF file is downloaded, it can be viewed through Safari, that can open PDF files. To find a file you downloaded on your iPad or iPhone, open the app that is capable of opening that type of file, then open that file to view it.

Another option is to install a file manager app on your iPad or iPhone, such as the File Manager & Browser app. Using a file manager app, you can organize all files on the device, making it easier to find them. If your iPad or iPhone has iOS 11 or later running on it, you can install the Files app to organize and manage files. The Files app also allows for syncing of files with the iCloud Drive and third-party applications, like Box and Dropbox.

Additional information