Using Google Chrome

Downloads with Google Chrome

Downloading a file

When you download a file from a website, the downloads bar appears at the bottom of the tab where you can monitor the progress of your downloading file. The file button indicates the size of the download and the amount of time remaining until the completion of the download. An arrow appears in the tab to signify a download in progress.

If you’re downloading an executable file (such as files with .exe, .dll, or .bat extensions), you’ll first have to accept the download by clicking the Save button that appears in the file button on the downloads bar. This step helps prevent malicious software from automatically downloading to your computer. If you’re not sure about the contents of the download, click the Discard button instead. Unsaved downloads are deleted when you exit Google Chrome.

Pause or cancel a download in progress

To pause a download without canceling it, go to the Downloads page (Ctrl+J) and click the Pause link next to the download.
To cancel a download completely, click the arrow next to its button in the downloads bar and select Cancel.
Open a downloaded file

After the file’s download is completed, click the file button in the downloads bar. You can also click this button while the download is in progress so the file opens as soon as it’s downloaded. The file’s now listed as the newest link on your Downloads page.

To make sure that files of its type always open immediately after they’re done downloading, click the arrow next to its button in the downloads bar and select Always open files of this type.

To open the folder on your computer containing the downloaded file, click the arrow next to its button in the downloads bar and select Show in folder.

Move a download on your computer

Copy a downloaded file to a different folder on your computer by dragging its button from the downloads bar to the desired folder window that’s open on your computer.

Customize your download location settings to download files to the same folder every time or specify a different location for each download.

Find downloaded files

The Downloads page displays a chronological list of all your files downloaded during the past four weeks. To open the Downloads page:

  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Downloads.
Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J to quickly open the Downloads page. Or if the downloads bar is displayed, click the Show all downloads link located at the end of the bar.


To quickly locate a specific file, even those downloaded more than four weeks ago, type part of the file name or original web address in the search box at the top of the page and click the Search downloads button. To return to the full list of downloads, click the Downloads link above the search box.

File icons help you quickly identify the file type of each file. The URL in green displayed under each file name tells you the original download location. Click the filename to link to open it or click the adjacent Show in folder link to open the folder that contained your file when it was initially downloaded.

If you move the file from its original folder, the Show in folder option no longer works for that particular file. Learn more about setting download location preferences.

Right-click the file for the following options:

  • Copy file: You can paste the file onto your computer desktop or folder.
  • Copy file path: Copy the address of the folder on your computer (also known as the file path) that initially contained your file after it was downloaded.
  • Copy link address: Copy the web address location for the download (in green).

Clear download history

You can remove some or all your downloads from the download list maintained by Google Chrome.

This action doesn’t remove the actual file from your computer.

Remove a specific download

  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Downloads. (You can also try the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J.)
  3. On the Downloads page, right-click the downloaded file you’d like to remove from the list and select Remove.

Clear downloads from a longer period of time

  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Clear browsing data.
  3. In the ‘Clear Browsing Data’ dialog box, select the ‘Clear download history’ checkbox. By default, Google Chrome only clears information collected in the last 24 hours. If you want to clear browsing information from a longer period of time, use the ‘Clear data from this period’ drop-down menu. To wipe out all the listings on the Downloads page, select the Everything option.
  4. Click the Clear Browsing Data button.

File auto-opening settings

Set file types to auto-open

Downloading files appear in the downloads bar at the bottom of your tab. Click the menu arrow next to your downloaded file button, then select Always open files of this type.

Alternatively, scan the file icons on the Downloads page (Ctrl+J) for the file type you wish to auto-open. Right-click one of your downloaded files of that particular file type and select  

Always open files of this type.


To prevent potential malware from automatically downloading to your computer, this action isn’t available for executable filetypes, such as those with .exe, .dll, or .bat extensions.


Clear auto-opening settings

  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click the Under the Hood tab.
  4. In the ‘General’ section, click the Clear auto-opening settings button.
    This clears all of your settings for all file types.
  5. Click the Close button.

Default download location

By default, Google Chrome sets your download location to \Documents and Settings\<user>\My Documents\Downloads.

You can choose a different default download location or select a specific location for each download. To set your preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click the Minor Tweaks tab.
  4. To set a default location for every download, click the Browse button in the ‘Download location’ section and select where you’d like your files to be saved. If you’d rather choose a specific location for each download, select the ‘Ask where to save each file before downloading’ checkbox.
  5. Click the Close button.

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