Where are the files I downloaded using my web browser?

Updated: 11/06/2021 by Computer Hope
Download

Sometimes, users may lose track of the files they downloaded with a web browser. The tips on this page help you find your downloads.

Press Ctrl+J to view browser downloads

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

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

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. When this shortcut key combination is pressed, a downloads tab or window (shown below) appears.

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 alone.

Using the Start menu

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 see 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, navigate to your Downloads folder using the shortcut in the left pane or by clicking 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. See: How to create a Windows shortcut.

View downloads on an Apple Mac

From the Finder, you can open the Downloads folder by clicking FileNew Finder Window, or pressing Command+N. Then, click Downloads in 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 corner of the dock, click Downloads. Your most recent downloads spring out of the dock.

OS X Downloads folder accessed on the Dock

Click any icon to open that file.

View downloads on an Android phone and tablet

Android phones and tablets include an app called Files or My Files, depending on the manufacturer. The app displays all files on the device, including those downloaded, listed in chronological order.

The Files or My Files app is in the app drawer. Open the app and tap the Downloads option to view downloaded files on your phone or tablet.

If you don't like the default file manager app, another option is to download and install Files by Google, available in the Google Play store. The app helps you organize all files on your Android phone and tablet, and gives you easy access to downloaded files. It includes features for clearing app cache and deleting junk files, which helps to regain storage space on the device.

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 compatible apps.

For example, if a picture is downloaded, it's available in the Photos app. If a PDF file is downloaded, it can be viewed through Safari or a PDF app. If a song is downloaded, it is available to listen to through the Music app. To find a downloaded file on your iPad or iPhone, open the compatible app and use it to view or run the file.

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.