How to Change Safari’s Default File Download Location

By Mark L. Chambers

If you’ve visited a Web site that offers files for downloading, typically you just click the Download button or file link, and Safari takes care of the rest. The Downloads status window keeps you updated about the progress of the transfer. While the file is downloading, you can continue browsing or even download additional files; the status window helps you keep track of what’s going on and when everything will be finished transferring. To display the Download status window from the keyboard, press Command+Option+L.

By default, Safari saves any downloaded files to the Downloads folder that appears in your Dock. To specify the location where downloaded files are stored — for example, if you’d like to scan them automatically with an antivirus program — follow these steps:

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1Choose Safari→Preferences.

Alternatively, press Command+, (comma). The Safari Preferences dialog opens.

2Click the General tab; then click the Save Downloaded Files To pop-up menu and choose Other.

A file navigation dialog will open.

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3Navigate to and select the location where you want the files stored and click Select.

The new location will appear in Save Downloaded Files To section.

4Click the Close button to exit Preferences.

The folder you chose will now be the default location for anything you download from the Internet.