How to Delete Downloads

Prevent other users from taking a look at the files you downloaded off the Internet by deleting the contents of your Windows Downloads folder. To further protect your privacy, clear the list of downloaded files in Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Delete Your Downloads

By default, Windows 7 or 8 saves your downloaded files in a specific folder, which you can access by launching Windows Explorer.


Click the Windows Explorer icon in your Taskbar or open your Windows Start Screen or Start Menu and select Windows Explorer from the list of applications.


Select Downloads from the sidebar to open the Downloads folder.

Favorites category in Windows Explorer.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft


Select the files you want to delete from your Downloads folder. Right-click the selected files and select Delete to send those files to the Recycle Bin.

Clear Your Browser's Downloads list

Each of the major browsers keeps a record of files you downloaded, which persists even after you delete them from the Downloads folder. Prevent users from sneaking a peek at your downloads by clearing your browser's downloads list.

Google Chrome

Press Ctrl-J to open Chrome's Downloads page and click Clear All to clear the list.

Select Open Downloads Folder to access the Windows Downloads folder.
credit: Image courtesy of Google

Mozilla Firefox

Press Ctrl-J to open Firefox's Library window and select Clear Downloads.

Click the Open Containing Folder icon to access the directory containing the downloaded file.
credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Press Ctrl-J and click the Clear List button.

Internet Explorer View Downloads window.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft