How to Open the Downloads Folder in Windows

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The Downloads folder can be found in the File Explorer.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Microsoft

Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer store downloaded files in your computer's Downloads folder by default. In Windows, the Downloads folder displays in the Folders section of the File Explorer and is also located in your Users folder on the same drive where Windows is installed, for example, the C: drive. If you have several users registered on your computer, each will have separate folders within their accounts.


Step 1

Click the File Explorer icon, resembling like a folder.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Microsoft

Click the "File Explorer" icon on the Desktop. If you are in Metro View, you can also reach File Explorer by clicking the "This PC" icon.


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Step 2

Double-click the Downloads folder, found in the Folders section.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Microsoft

Double-click the "Downloads" folder in the Folders section. Depending on your File Explorer settings, the folders may display as large or small icons, or as a list.


Step 3

View in Details mode to easily sort and find the files you have downloaded in the Downloads folder.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Microsoft

Find the file you want in the Downloads folder. Unless you move or delete files, the Downloads folder stores all of the files you have downloaded over time. If you view your files in Details mode, the bar of column headers is helpful for sorting the files to make searching easier. Click "Date" to sort the files with the most recent on top to find the last file you downloaded. You can also sort alphabetically by clicking "Name," or by the file type and size using those respective columns. The "Length" column refers to the time length of video or audio files.


An alternate way to navigate to the Downloads folder is to start with the drive on which Windows is installed. Double-click the drive and then double-click the "Users" folder. Choose your username from among the options listed and double-click on that folder. You can now double-click the "Downloads" folder to access your downloaded files.

Although each browser's default downloads folder is your Windows Downloads folder, you can change the destination folder from the Settings or Options menus of each browser. You can also set Chrome and Firefox to prompt you where to store each file when you download it.

The Downloads folder can get crowded if you use it to store all of the files you download over months or even years. Consider regularly copying files that you want to save to another location and then clearing out the Downloads folder so that it is easy to find new files when you download them.