How to Get Your Browser to Download Where You Want

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Do you have a personal folder where you would like to put files that you download but your browser keeps putting them somewhere else? All the common browsers have a default location that may not be what you had in mind. In this tip, I’ll tell you how to send downloads where you want in three of the most popular browsers. Except where noted, information applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7.

Select a download folder for Firefox 3.6+

Firefox uses a folder in My Documents in Windows XP or the %USERPROFILE%\Downloads folder in Windows Vista/7 as a default. Changing the download destination is easy:

  1. Go to the “Tools” menu
  2. Select “Options”
  3. Click the “General” tab
  4. In the section labeled “Downloads”, choose your location from the “Browse” function (see the figure below)
  5. Click  “OK” and “OK’ again

Change download location in Firefox

Select a download folder for Google Chrome 8

Chrome also has an easy way to configure the setting for the download location.

  1. Click the “Tools” icon (the wrench)
  2. Select “Options”
  3. Click the tab “Under the Hood”
  4. Scroll down to the “Downloads” section (see the figure below)
  5. Use the “Browse” function  to select your folder
  6. Click “OK”
  7. Click “Close”

Changing the download folder in Chrome

Internet Explorer 8

There is no direct setting in IE8 to change the download folder. Advanced PC users can edit a value called “Download Directory” in the following Registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

However, several Windows tweaking programs provide for changing the download location. The Ultimate Windows Tweaker and also WinBubble are freeware possibilities for Windows Vista/7. 

And there you have it. Now you can put downloads wherever you choose.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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