Where Are The Downloads On My Phone?

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

A hand using a smartphone in the dark.

Getty Images / d3sign

Quickly accessing downloaded files on your smartphone is crucial if you want to get the most of your device. Whether you've downloaded pictures or videos sent in a text message, email attachments, or files while browsing the web, they all end stored somewhere on your phone. If you're an Android user, locating your downloads is similar to using Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder, where folders can be sorted and edited in plain view. 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.

The instructions in this article apply to Android Nougat, Oreo, and Pie, as well as iOS 11 and 12.

Where Are My Downloads on Android

To navigate Android's internal storage, you only need a file manager app such as My Files, or ES File Explorer. Connecting your phone to a computer will also allow you to manage all your phone's 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.

Open Downloads from Android Messages

  1. Open your preferred file manager, tap Internal storage (device name), then tap Pictures.

  2. Tap 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.

Photos or videos downloaded with the Instagram and Facebook Messenger app go into the Pictures folder.

Go to Downloads for Samsung Messages

A screenshot showing downloaded files on a Samsung device.
  1. Open the My files app, then tap Internal storage.
  2. Tap Download.
  3. All attachments downloaded via Samsung Messages will be in the Download directory.

Downloads Folder for Whatsapp

A screenshot of Whatsapp's media folders.
  1. Open your file manager, tap Internal storage, then WhatsApp.
  2. Tap Media.
  3. Your files and attachments get stored in their respective folders within WhatsApp's Media directory.

Videos and pictures downloaded with apps like Hangouts and Textra will be located in its respective folder on your device's internal storage.

Download Folder for Google Chrome

A screenshot of a pdf file getting downloaded in Chrome on Android.
  1. Tap+hold the link or file you wish to download until more options appear, then tap Download link.
  2. Open your file manager and go to your Internal storage, then tap Download.
  3. All files and attachments downloaded while using Chrome will end up in the Downloads folder.

Downloads for Gmail

A screenshot of email attachments in Gmail on android.
  1. Open your email with the attachment, then tap the download icon next to the Drive icon.
  2. Open your file manager, go to Internal storage, then tap Download.
  3. All attachments downloaded from Gmail will be 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 12 have more control over where files are stored when downloaded. In the past, downloads ended up in a location based on the file type. However, in iOS 11 and above, you now have additional options when saving files to your iPhone.

iOS 12 automatically saves images and videos sent and received via iMessage in Photos.

My Downloads in Safari on iPhone

  1. Open Safari, then tap on the download link.

  2. Tap the download icon in the bottom center of the screen.

  3. Tap Save to Files.

    Screenshot of Safari on iPhone downoading a PDF.
  4. Ensure Save to Files is enabled, then tap Done.

  5. Tap On My iPhone.

  6. Select the folder you wish to save your file in.

    A screenshot displaying the saving options on iOS 12.

Access the downloads on my iPhone With the Files App

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

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Tap an option under Locations to explore your iPhone's downloads.

    A screnshot of Apple's Files app in iOS 12.
  3. Use the Search option at the top of the screen to quickly look for an item.