How to Open Downloads on My Desktop Mac

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

The Safari web browser is included for free with your Mac’s OS X operating system. Files downloaded to the Mac’s hard drive from Safari deposit themselves inside of a folder. The location of the downloads folder is set by default, but you can change it. To locate a downloaded file, you can use the Spotlight utility built into your Mac’s OS X operating system.

Step 1

Launch the Safari web browser by double-clicking its icon inside of the “Applications” folder. Select “Preferences” from the “Safari” drop-down menu at the top left of the screen. Click the “General” tab at the top left of the window that appears.

Step 2

Locate the “Save downloaded files to” tab. Make a note of the name of the folder in the drop-down menu next to the tab--this could be “Downloads” if the default save location is in effect or any other folder on the Mac’s hard drive. Close the window by clicking the red button at the upper-left corner.

Step 3

Click once on the desktop. Select “New Finder Window” to bring up a window on the desktop. Enter the name of the folder where the downloaded files are being kept in the Spotlight utility's “Search” text field at the upper-right corner of the window. Wait as files and folders appear in the column beneath the “Search” text field.

Step 4

Double-click on the name of the folder where the downloaded files are being kept. The downloaded files inside of the folder are now displayed in the column.

Step 5

Double-click on the downloaded file that you want to open, or drag it from the window onto the desktop and then double-click on it.