How to Change the File Download Location in Your Browser

Choose where all your downloads are saved to

There are many ways to download files to a computer, and most downloads take place in a web browser. Once the transfer is complete, the requested file is placed in a specified location on your hard drive. This may be the operating system's Downloads folder, the desktop, or some other destination you chose.

Each browser offers the ability to modify this setting, letting you specify the destination for your downloaded files. Below are instructions for modifying the download location in some of the most popular browsers.

Instructions in this article apply to the Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS operating systems running Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Vivaldi.

Change the Download Location in Google Chrome

Chrome provides an option in the settings menu to change the default download location.

  1. Select the Chrome menu button, depicted with three horizontal lines and located in the upper-right corner of the browser window.

    The More menu in Chrome
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select Settings. The Chrome Settings interface displays in a new tab or window.

    You can also access this interface by pressing Command+, (macOS only) or by entering the following text in the browser's address bar: chrome://settings (macOS and Windows).

    Settings in Chrome
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Advanced.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Advanced heading highlighted
  4. Scroll down to the Downloads section.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Downloads heading highlighted
  5. The current location where downloaded files are saved displays, along with a button labeled Change. To modify the Chrome download location, select Change, and choose the desired folder.

    A screenshot of Google Chrome settings with the Change button under Downloads highlighted
  6. Also found in the Downloads section is an option labeled Ask where to save each file before downloading, accompanied by a check box. Disabled by default, this setting instructs Chrome to prompt you for a location each time a download starts through the browser.

    A screenshot of Chrome Download settings with the "Ask Where to Save" option highlighted

Change the Download Location in Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, the settings to change where downloads are saved are hidden away behind the about:URL protocol.

  1. In Firefox, select the Open menu button indicated by three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner, then select Preferences.

    You can also open the Preferences window by pressing command+, (macOS only).

    A screenshot of Firefox with the Preferences option highlighted
  2. The browser's Preferences window opens. Locate the Downloads section, containing two options: Save files to and Always ask me where to save files.

    A screenshot of Firefox preferences with the Downloads heading highlighted
  3. Select Save files to if you want Firefox to save downloaded files to a designated location on your hard drive or external device. This is the default setting. To modify the location, select Browse, then choose the desired drive and folder.

    A screenshot of Firefox preferences with the Browse button for Downloads highlighted
  4. Select Always ask you where to save files if you want Firefox to ask you to provide a download location each time a file transfer is initiated.

    A screenshot of Firefox downloads settings with the "Always Ask Where to Save" option highlighted

Change the Download Location in Microsoft Edge

To change the download location for Microsoft Edge, follow these steps:

  1. Select the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of the window.

    The More menu in Edge
  2. Select Settings.

    Settings in Edge
  3. Scroll down to Downloads and select Change.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge's settings with the "Change save location" button highlighted
  4. Navigate to the folder you want to use to store Downloads, then choose Select Folder.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with the Select Folder button highlighted

Change the Download Location in Opera

Here's how to access the hidden settings menu in Opera to change the location where downloads are saved.

  1. Type the following text into the Opera address bar and press the Enter key: opera://settings.

  2. Locate the Downloads section. The current path where file downloads are stored is visible, along with a button labeled Change. To modify this path, select Change and choose a new destination.

    A screenshot of Opera settings with the Change button under Downloads highlighted
  3. The Downloads section contains an option labeled Ask where to save each file before downloading. Accompanied by a check box and inactive by default, this setting causes Opera to ask you for a specific location each time a download takes place.

    A screenshot of Opera settings with the Ask Where to Save option highlighted

Change the Download Location in Internet Explorer 11

The download settings for Internet Explorer are easy to access and change.

  1. Select the Tools menu, depicted by a gear icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window.

  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select View downloads. You can also use the following keyboard shortcut: CTRL+J.

  3. The IE11 View Downloads dialog appears, overlaying the browser window. Select the Options link, located in the lower-left corner of this window.

  4. The Download Options window appears, displaying the browser's current destination path for all file downloads. To modify this location, select Browse, then choose your desired drive and folder.

  5. Once you are satisfied with your new settings, select OK to return to your browsing session.

Change the Download Location in Safari

Accessing the Preferences menu for Safari allows you to change the file download location.

  1. In the top menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.

    Alternatively, press Command+, (comma) on the keyboard.

    Preferences in Safari
  2. Toward the bottom of the window is an option labeled File download location, which displays Safari's current file destination. To modify this setting, select the menu accompanying this option.

  3. When the drop-down menu appears, select Other.

    A screenshot of Safari settings with the Other command under "File Download Location" highlighted
  4. Navigate to the drive and folder where you'd like to save downloads, then choose Select.

Change the Download Location in Vivaldi

Quickly change the file download location for Vivaldi.

  1. Select the Settings gear in the lower-left corner of the browser window.

    The Settings gear in Vivaldi
  2. Select Downloads, located in the left menu pane.

    The Downloads tab in Vivaldi settings
  3. To change the download location, choose Select Folder under Download Location and browse to the location you want to use.

    If you know the exact path, enter it into the text field instead of browsing.

    The Select Folder button in Vivaldi download settings
  4. Once you are satisfied with your settings, close the window to return to your browsing session.