How to Modify File Download Settings on Your Google Chromebook

chromebook file download
Getty Images #sb10066622n-001 Credit: Guy Crettenden.

This article is only intended for users running the Google Chrome operating system.

By default, all files downloaded on your Chromebook are stored in the Downloads folder. While a convenient and aptly named location for such a task, many users prefer to save these files elsewhere—such as on their Google Drive or an external device. In this tutorial, we walk you through the process of setting a new default download location.

We also show you how to instruct Chrome to prompt you for a location each and every time you initiate a file download, should you so desire.

If your Chrome browser is already open, click on the Chrome menu button—represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Settings. If your Chrome browser is not already open, the Settings interface can also be accessed via Chrome's taskbar menu, located in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.

Chrome OS's Settings interface should now be displayed. Scroll to the bottom and click on the Show advanced settings... link. Next, scroll again until you locate the Downloads section. You'll notice that the download location is currently set to the Downloads folder. To change this value, first, click on the Change... button. A window will now appear prompting you to select a new folder location for your file downloads.

Once selected, click on the Open button. You should now be returned to the previous screen, with a new Download location value displayed.

In addition to changing the default download location, Chrome OS also allows you to toggle the following settings on or off via their accompanying check boxes.

  • Ask where to save each file before downloading: When enabled, Chrome will prompt you to select a download location each time a file is downloaded through the browser.
  • Disconnect Google Drive account: You may have noticed that you have the ability to download files directly to your Google Drive, which is located in the cloud. When you sign in to your Chromebook, you are automatically connected to your personal drive. If you would like to disconnect it, enable this option.