How to Delete Downloads on Android

Clear out junk and make space on your Android phone

woman on cell phone

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Downloaded files can be a little trickier to find on your phone than on your computer. Often, we will download something we need and then forget about it. Big files, like videos, can take up valuable real estate in your phone's storage long after you're done with it! Luckily, it isn't hard to delete files — you just have to know where to look. Here's how you delete downloads on Android and free up some additional space.

How to Open and Edit Files

Every Android device has a specific app to manage your downloaded or saved files, but it may take a bit of searching to find, depending on your device. Here's how you browse through the different files you have.

When you delete files on your Android device, they are gone permanently, so be sure you really do want to delete them completely before following these instructions.

  1. The app you are looking for is going to be called either Files or My Files, depending on the age of your device. To find the Files app, open the App Tray on your device. You may have to search a little — look in a Tools folder if you don't see it directly on the App Tray.

    tools folder on android app tray
  2. Inside the Files app, you can browse several different categories: images, videos, music, etc.

  3. From here, you can tap files to access them or tap and hold to select multiple files at once. Depending on the type of file, there are different actions you can take once you have multiple files selected.

  4. Pay a special note to the Documents section. If you've downloaded PDFs — tickets to an event, a restaurant menu, etc. — from a browser on your mobile device, they often just sit on your phone, taking up space.

    Downloads from your web browser are stored in your downloads file, so when you delete them directly from the file, there's no need to delete them from your browser. If you want to double check that, however, you can always open your web browser and go to Settings (usually represented by a three dot or three line menu icon) > Downloads to ensure all the files you want to delete are gone.

  5. Once you've selected the files you want to delete, tap Delete, which is usually represented by a trash can icon.

  6. You may be prompted to confirm you want to delete the files. Tap Delete or Yes, depending on your operating system, to permanently delete the files.

How to Delete Files on Your Android Device

Once you've found the Files app, deleting your files is a snap. Here's how you do it.

  1. Tap and hold your finger on the file you want to delete, then select either the Delete option or the Trash icon that appears.

    files selection on android device
  2. You can select multiple files to delete several at once. Each one should receive a check mark if you tap and hold down on it - check several of them before selecting delete to take care of many files at once.

  3. After you select to delete files, you will be prompted if you really want to delete those files. They are gone for good once you select OK, so make sure you've chosen wisely.

Downloaded files can take up lots of space on your Android. If you've never installed an additional SD card or added space to your phone, that can be a valuable commodity! It's a good idea to clear out space every so often so you can download more of your favorite apps, music, and videos.