How to Make Chrome Save Files to a Different Folder

Download your files to your desktop or any folder you choose

Illustration of Chrome downloading downloading files

You can set up Chrome to download files to a specific folder of your choosing. That way, when a file is finished downloading, you'll know exactly where to find it.

Changing the default download folder in Chrome might be something you want to do if you want to better organize all your downloads. Or maybe your primary hard drive is too full and you want Chrome to save files to an external hard drive that has more storage, or to Dropbox or some other online storage service.

To make Chrome stop downloading files to any folder automatically, you could even force the browser to ask you where to save each file before it's downloaded. This type of setup lets you pick the download folder each time a new file is downloaded.

Changing the Default Download Folder

Screenshot showing how to change the default download folder location in Chrome

Chrome's default download folder can be changed from the Location option in the Downloads setting. Another way to complete steps 1–4 is to type chrome://settings/?search=ask+where in the address bar.

  1. With Chrome open, access the menu from the upper right-hand side of the browser. The button is represented by three horizontal dots.
  2. Choose Settings from that menu.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and choose Advanced to see some more settings.
  4. Keep scrolling to the Downloads section to find the option for changing Chrome's default download folder.
  5. Next to the Location setting, click or tap CHANGE to pick a new folder for Chrome to use for downloads.

Other Download Settings

Screenshot of a file downloaded through Chrome

To find where Chrome downloaded a file—for example, if you've forgotten where it saved—one easy way to find out is to open the list of downloaded files. Just like it sounds, this is a list of all the files downloaded through Chrome. It's fully searchable to make it easy to open any file regardless of where it was saved.

You can see this list from the menu button in Chrome: choose Downloads to open the list. From there, either click the file to open it or click Show in folder to open the folder and find the file.

Tip: When you have this list of downloads open, you can even click the file name and drag it to a folder on your computer, and it will be copied from the original location to the one you drag it to. This is a very easy way to put a downloaded file into another folder without having to change any settings in Chrome or open the original folder. However, this type of maneuver performs a file copy only; it does not move the file.

Screenshot of the 'ask where to save each file before downloading' option in Chrome

Another way to change which folder Chrome downloads files to is to choose the Ask where to save each file before downloading option. When this setting is toggled on, Chrome will bypass the default download folder and ask you where to save the file. 

If you force Chrome to ask you where each file should be downloaded, the location you pick with the steps above will be voided. However, you still have to pick a folder location. In other words, even if you want Chrome to stop downloading files automatically, you still have to choose a download folder in the event that you turn off the "ask where..." setting.

Screenshot of the automatic downloads option in Chrome

If a website tries to download a file right after another one was just downloaded, Chrome can be set up to ask you whether you want that second (or third, fourth, etc.) file or whether it should download automatically. To do that, you can configure Chrome to ask you each time a website tries to download more than one file. That setting can be found in the Automatic downloads option in the Content settings screen.

Also on that screen is a list of sites you've chosen as being blocked from downloading more than one file at once. You can add more websites or domains in the Block or Allow section. For example, if you add a website in the "Allow" section, you've giving Chrome approval to download multiple files at once.

Important: If you suspect that a website is trying to download malware to your computer and it's listed in the "Allow" section, you should add it to the "Block" section, or—at the very least—delete it from the "Allow" area. That way, multiple files cannot be downloaded simultaneously.