[3 Ways] How to Delete Downloads on Mac to Get More Space

Jerome Peng
Last updated: Jan 4, 2024

In this guide, we will discuss where to find the Downloads folder on your Mac and how to delete downloads to get more space.

When you use a Mac, you inevitably download a lot of files, documents, movies, audio, and more. If you don't clean them up regularly, they will accumulate and take up a significant amount of your precious space.

Wondering where your downloads are and how to delete them permanently? You've come to the right place. Follow this guide to get rid of them and free up more space on your Mac.

[3 Ways] How to Delete Downloads on Mac to Get More Space

How to Find Downloads on Mac

Before we learn how to delete downloaded files on Mac, let's first locate where your downloads are.

How to Find Downloads on Mac Using Finder

By default, your downloads are saved in the Downloads folder, which is located in the Finder sidebar. If you can't find it, click on the Finder menu > Preferences and check Downloads.

Set Finder to Show Downloads in Sidebar

How to Find Downloads on Mac in a Web Browser

If you're searching for a recent download in your browser, follow the steps below.

  • In Safari, click the download icon in the upper right corner.
  • In Google Chrome, click the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the Google window and select Downloads.
  • For Firefox, click the hamburger menu in the upper right corner and select Downloads.

How to Manually Delete Downloads on Mac

It’s a good idea to delete unwanted downloads from your Mac to prevent it from running out of storage space quickly.

To manually delete downloads on your Mac, open the Downloads folder, select the files you want to remove and drag them to the Trash.

For multiple downloads, click the first item, press the Shift key, click the last item, and move them to the Trash.

To delete all downloads, press Command + A to select all the files and move them to the Trash.

Remove All Downloads on Mac

Here are some keyboard shortcuts to help you delete downloads on your Mac without using the mouse:

  • Command + Delete: Move the selected item to the Trash.
  • Shift + Command + Delete: Empty the Trash (permanently remove downloaded files).
  • Option + Shift + Command + Delete: Empty the Trash without confirmation dialog.

Related Article: How to Select Multiple Files on Mac at Once with Keyboard

How to Quickly and Permanently Delete Downloads on Mac

There's a faster and easier way to delete all downloads on your Mac. All you need is BuhoCleaner, a handy Mac cleaner. It offers notable features such as junk file cleaning, app uninstallation, large file and duplicate file removal, and disk space analysis.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

Here’s how to delete all downloads on your Mac with BuhoCleaner:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click Toolkit in the sidebar and select Disk Space Analyzer.
  3. Click the Scan button and you will find all the folders on your Mac and their sizes.
    BuhoCleaner's Disk Space Analyzer
  4. Continue to click Users > Your Name, check the Downloads box, and then click the Remove button.
    Permanently Delete All Downloads on Mac

If needed, explore other features to comprehensively clean up your Mac and reclaim even more space.

How to Automatically Delete Downloads on Mac

If you wish to delete downloads on Mac automatically, use Automator to create a workflow tailored for you.

  1. Open Automator via Spotlight.
  2. Click Files and Folders under Library.
  3. Find Get Specified Finder Items, drag it to the right column, then add the Downloads folder to it.
  4. Drag Get Folder Contents to the right column and tick Repeat for each subfolder found.
  5. Drag Filter Finder items to the right column as well, click All > Date last modified > is not in the last, then set the number of days you want.
  6. Drag Move Finder items to Trash to the column, then save the workflow as an app to your desired folder.
  7. Run the app when you want it to delete Downloads automatically.
Create Cleanup Downloads Workflow with Automator

Bonus: How to Clear Download History in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on Mac

In addition to deleting downloads on your Mac, you might also want to remove your download history in your browser to protect your privacy or free up space.

Here's how to clear download history in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox:


  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Click the View menu in Safari and select Show Downloads.
  3. In the Downloads window, click the Clear button.
Delete Safari Download History

By default, Safari will automatically delete the download list items after one day. If you don't like this default setting, go to Safari Preferences to set your ideal removal method.

The Downloads folder is where Safari downloads are saved. You can also change the default location to whatever you like.


  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. Click the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the Google window and select Downloads.
  3. In the new window, click the three-dot menu and you can clear all download history with one click.
Clear Download History in Google Chrome
To save your downloads to a folder other than Downloads, click Settings > Downloads > Change and choose your preferred folder.


  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click the Tools menu in Firefox and select Downloads.
  3. In the new window, click the Clear Downloads button to remove all download history on Firefox.
Delete Download History in Safari
To change the download location, click Settings, scroll down to Files and Applications, and click the Choose button to change the download folder.

Final Words

Now that you know where the Downloads folder is on your Mac and how to permanently get rid of unneeded downloads, feel free to choose a method you prefer to start cleaning up your Downloads folder.

By the way, BuhoCleaner is an excellent Mac cleaner that can thoroughly clean your Mac. Don’t forget to give it a try.


  1. Should I Delete the Downloads Folder?

    Don't do that if you don't have a backup; otherwise, you may accidentally delete important files and applications.

  2. If I Delete My Downloads, Will That Cause Them to Be Deleted Everywhere?

    Deleting files from the Downloads folder won't delete files elsewhere on your Mac. In other words, if you've copied files from Downloads to another folder, those files will remain on your Mac.

Jerome is a passionate enthusiast of all things Apple. He is expertise in crafting tech-related articles, with a portfolio of more than 100 articles covering various Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.