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, but the majority of downloads take place within a web browser. Once the transfer is completed, the requested file is placed in a specified location on your hard drive. This may be your operating system's Downloads folder, the desktop, or some other destination you've chosen.

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

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

Change 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.

    A screenshot of Chrome with the More Options menu highlighted
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select Settings. Chrome's Settings interface should now be displayed 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).

    A screenshot of Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Advanced.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Advanced heading highlighted
  4. Scroll down again until you locate the Downloads section.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Downloads heading highlighted
  5. The current location where downloaded files are saved will be displayed, along with a button labeled Change. To modify Chrome's download location, select this button and choose the desired landing spot.

    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 checkbox. 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 Download Location in Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, the settings to change where downloads are saved is 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).

    Firefox Preferences
  2. The browser's Preferences window will open up. 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'd like to have Firefox save all downloaded files through to a designated location on your hard drive or external device. This is the default settings. To modify the location, select the Choose... and select the desired drive and folder.

    A screenshot of Firefox preferences with the Browse button for Downloads highlighted
  4. Select Always ask me 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 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.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with the More Options menu highlighted
  2. Select Settings.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with the Settings option highlighted
  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 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 Opera's address bar and hit the Enter key: opera://settings.

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

    A screenshot of Opera settings with the Change button under Downloads highlighted
  3. The Downloads section also contains an option labeled Ask where to save each file before downloading. Accompanied by a checkbox 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 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 your browser window.

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

  3. IE11's View Downloads dialog should now be visible, overlaying your browser window. Select the Options link, located in the lower left-hand corner of this window.

  4. The Download Options window should now be visible, 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 the OK button to return to your browsing session.

Change Download Location in Safari

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

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

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

    A screenshot of Safari with the Preferences menu item highlighted
  2. Towards 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 Download Location in Vivaldi

Quickly change the file download location for Vivaldi.

  1. Select the ​Vivaldi menu button, depicted by a white 'V' on a red background and located in the upper-left corner of your browser window.

  2. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse cursor over Tools.

  3. When the sub-menu appears, select Settings.

  4. Vivaldi's Settings interface should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. Select Downloads, located in the left menu pane.

  5. The current path where Vivaldi stores file downloads should now be displayed, labeled Download Location. To modify this setting, enter a new path in the edit field provided.

  6. Once you are satisfied with your settings, select the x in the upper right-hand corner of the window to return to your browsing session.