Where Are the Downloads on My Phone?

Can't find something you know you downloaded? Here's where to look

Quickly accessing downloaded files on your smartphone is crucial if you want to get the most out of your device. Whether you've downloaded pictures or videos sent in a text message, email attachments, or files while browsing the web, they're all stored somewhere on your phone.

If you're an Android user (Android 7 or later), locating your downloads is similar to using Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder. If you're an iPhone user running iOS 11 or 12, Apple's Files app connects you with all your device's storage locations, both locally and in the cloud.

Where Are My Downloads on Android?

To navigate Android's internal storage, you need a file manager app such as My Files. Connecting your phone to a computer will also allow you to manage your files and folders. In most instances, things you download will end up in the Downloads folder. However, depending on the app, the location may be different.

Google Messages Downloads on Android

To access your Google Messages downloads on Android:

  1. Open your preferred file manager, tap Internal storage, then tap Pictures.

  2. Select Messages.

  3. All your downloaded images, videos, and voice clips will be in the Messages folder.

    A screenshot of Android's Message's gallery location.

Samsung Messages Downloads on Android

To access your Samsung Messages downloads on Android:

  1. Open your preferred file manager, then choose Internal storage.

  2. Select Download.

  3. All attachments downloaded via Samsung Messages will be in the Download folder.

    A screenshot showing downloaded files on a Samsung device.

WhatsApp Downloads on Android

To access your WhatsApp downloads on Android:

  1. Open your file manager and select Internal storage > WhatsApp.

    Navigating to the WhatsApp directory.
  2. Select Media.

  3. Your files and attachments are stored in their respective folders within WhatsApp's Media directory.

    A screenshot of Whatsapp's media folders.

    Videos and pictures downloaded with apps like Hangouts and Textra are located in their respective folders in your device's Internal storage.

Google Chrome Downloads on Android

To access your Google Chrome downloads on Android:

  1. Open your file manager, go to Internal storage, then choose Download.

  2. All files and attachments downloaded from Chrome are in your Download folder.

Gmail Downloads on Android

To access your Gmail downloads on Android:

  1. Open your file manager, go to Internal storage, then choose Download.

  2. All attachments downloaded from Gmail are in your Download folder.

    Apps such as Outlook and Samsung Email also store your attachments in the Download folder.

Downloads Stored on Your iPhone

iPhone users running iOS 11 or newer have more control over where downloaded files are stored. In the past, downloads ended up in a location based on the file type. However, in iOS 11 and later, you can access downloads in the Files app.

In iOS 12 and newer, images and videos that are sent and received via Messages are automatically saved in the Photos app.

Apple's Files app is a more streamlined approach to accessing the images, videos, and documents saved to your phone apps and cloud services. The Files app is essentially the iPhone's file manager for iOS 11 and up.

  1. Tap the Files app.

  2. Tap an option under Locations to explore your iPhone's downloads. Or, you can use the Search bar at the top of the screen to quickly search for the file or image.

Screenshots of Files in iOS.
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