Downloads Folder on Mac Dock Disappeared, How to Get It Back

Clare Phang
Last updated: Apr 22, 2024

This guide explains how to restore the disappeared Downloads folder to your Mac Dock and provides insight into why it may disappear from your Dock, helping you prevent this issue from occurring again.

Mac Dock offers a convenient way to access frequently used applications, documents, and folders. It's customizable and designed for efficiency, but sometimes, essential icons like the Downloads folder might disappear unexpectedly. This can happen randomly or after certain actions such as macOS upgrades. When the Downloads folder on Mac Dock disappears, how to get it right in position? Read on to know the magic.

Downloads Folder on Mac Dock Disappeared, How to Restore

How to Get the Downloads Folder Back on Mac Dock

If your Downloads folder has disappeared from Mac Dock, the biggest chance is you’ve accidentally removed it, such as a simple click to drag it out of the Dock. For this case, you can follow the steps below to put it back.

  1. Open Finder and go to the home directory from the Apple menu bar.
    Downloads Folder in Finder
  2. Under the home directory, locate the Downloads folder.
    Downloads Folder Under Home Directory
  3. Drag and drop it back into the Dock.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Open Finder. Under Favorites, you should see the Downloads folder.
  2. Right-click on the Downloads folder. From the drop-down options, click on Add to Dock.
    Add Downloads to Dock

However, if the above doesn't work, you are still encountering the Downloads folder disappearing from Mac Dock now and then, the issue probably lies in the system. For this, you can reset the PLIST file for the Dock on your Mac by following these steps:

  1. Launch Finder and click on the Go menu in the top menu bar of Finder, then select Go to Folder from the dropdown menu.
    Go to Folder
  2. In the Go to Folder search box, type ~/Library/Preferences/ and press Return. This will take you directly to the file location.
  3. Drag the file to Trash.
    Reset the PLIST File for the Dock
  4. To finalize the reset, restart your Mac. When your Mac restarts, the Dock PLIST file will be automatically recreated.

Why Does the Downloads Folder Disappear from Mac Dock?

Although the major cause of the Downloads folder disappearing from the Dock is deletion by accident, there are other factors that can lead to this issue. Check to see which is your situation.

  • Accidental Removal: Accidentally dragging the Downloads folder away from the Dock is the most common cause. This simple mistake can make the folder seem like it has vanished.

  • System Updates: Occasionally, macOS updates may reset some customization settings, including those of the Dock. As some users report, this might inadvertently remove the Downloads folder from its usual location.

  • User Profile Changes: Switching between different user profiles can also affect the visibility of certain Dock items depending on user settings and permissions.

Bonus: How to Efficiently Manage the Downloads Folder on Mac

Over time, the Downloads folder can accumulate a large number of files, some of which may no longer be necessary or have been forgotten. To tackle this, you can use Mac cleaners like Buhocleaner, which is designed to help streamline Mac storage space and enhance the overall system efficiency.

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BuhoCleaner is a powerful cleaning utility tailored for macOS. It offers a range of features aimed at optimizing your Mac’s performance by removing unnecessary files, organizing data, and managing applications more effectively. This tool is particularly useful for clearing out the Downloads folder, which often becomes a dumping ground for temporary and large files. Download BuhoCleaner to experience a smooth workflow over your Downloads folders now.

Manage Downloads Folder on Mac with BuhoCleaner

FAQs about the Downloads Folder on Mac Dock Disappeared

  1. Where is my Downloads folder on my Mac?

The Downloads folder is typically located in your home directory. You can easily access it by opening a Finder window. From the sidebar in Finder, you can click on ‘Downloads’ under ‘Favorites’. If it's not visible there, you can also find it by clicking on ‘Go’ in the menu bar at the top of the screen, selecting ‘Go to Folder’, and typing ~/Downloads in the dialog box that appears.

  1. How to restore the deleted Downloads folder on Mac?

If you've dragged your Downloads folder to the Trash by mistake, you can easily retrieve it. Here's how you can recover your deleted Downloads folder or files from the Trash on your Mac:

Step 1: Locate the Trash icon on the Dock. It is typically found on the right side.

Step 2: Open the Trash by clicking on its icon. Look through the contents to find the Downloads folder or specific files you wish to recover.

Step 3: Right-click on the Downloads folder or the selected files and choose ‘Put Back’. This action will restore the items to their original location on your Mac.

Following these steps, your Downloads folder will be back in its proper place, allowing you to access your downloaded files as usual.

Clare Phang has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of the iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.