[2023] How to Quickly Delete Downloads on Mac - 3 Ways

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Jerome Mills
Last updated: Jun 7, 2023

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

When you use a Mac, you inevitably download a lot of files, documents, movies, audio, and more on it. If you don't clean them up often, they will pile up and take up a lot of your precious space.

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

How to Quickly Delete Downloads on Mac

How to Find Downloads on Mac

Before we learn how to delete download files on Mac, let's find where your downloads are.

How to Find Downloads on Mac Using Finder

Downloads are usually saved in the Downloads folder, which is located in the Finder sidebar. If you can't find it, click 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 looking for a file you downloaded 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 the unwanted downloads from your Mac so that your Mac doesn't run 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.

To delete mutliple 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

Keep in mind that moving unneeded files to the Trash doesn’t completely delete them. If you want to permanently delete downloads on your Mac, use the keyboard shortcut Option + Command + Delete to bypass the Trash.

How to Quickly and Permanently Delete Downloads on Mac

There is a faster and easier way to delete all the downloads on your Mac. All you need is BuhoCleaner, a handy Mac cleaner. Some of its noticeable features are junk file cleaning, app uninstallation, large file and duplicate file removal, and disk space analysis.

Free 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 necessary, navigate to other features to further clean up your Mac and get back 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 cloumn, 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 may 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 you know where the Downloads folder is on your Mac and how to get rid of unneeded downloads permanently. Go ahead and choose a method you like to start cleaning up your Downloads folder.

By the way, BuhoCleaner is an excellent Mac cleaner that can clean your Mac thoroughly. 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 Mills

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