Where Is the Downloads Folder on Mac and How to Empty It

Last updated: Oct 26, 2023
Summary: This post mainly introduces the Mac Downloads folder. Learn how to open the Downloads folder on Mac in 4 ways and how to empty the folder to get more free space on your Mac.

On a Mac, the “Downloads” folder is the default location where files you download from the internet or receive as email attachments are stored. Check how to open the Downloads folder and how to empty it below.

downloads folder on Mac

Where Is the Downloads Folder on Mac and How to Open It?

You have four ways to access the Mac Downloads folder. Check them below.

Way 1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock to open Finder. From the sidebar, click the Downloads option under Favorites to open the Downloads folder on Mac.

Downloads folder on Mac

If you don’t see the Downloads option in the sidebar of Finder, you can follow the steps below to show “Downloads” in Finder.

  • Click Finder > Settings.
  • Click Sidebar.
  • Tick “Downloads” under “Show these items in the sidebar” to add “Downloads” to the Finder’s sidebar.
add the Downloads folder to Finder sideba

Way 2. Click the Go tab in your Mac’s menu bar and choose Downloads to quickly launch the Downloads directory.

open the Downloads folder on Mac

Way 3. You can also press the Option + Command + L keyboard shortcut to quickly open the Downloads folder on your Mac.

Way 4. If you see the icon of “Downloads” in the Dock, you can click it to easily open the folder. Learn how to add “Downloads” to the Dock.

  • Find the Downloads folder in Finder’s sidebar.
  • Right-click it and select Add to Dock.

How to Empty the Downloads Folder on Mac?

After you open the Mac Downloads folder, you can manage files in it. You can find a specific downloaded file or folder to open and view it. You can also delete one, multiple, or all files/folders in the Downloads folder.

  1. To empty the Downloads folder to release space, you can press Command + A to select all files in the folder.
  2. Right-click your mouse, and select Move to Trash. You can also press Command + Delete to move all the items to the Trash.
  3. To permanently delete these downloads, you still need to empty the Trash. Click the Trash Bin icon in the Dock to open Trash. Click the Empty icon to empty the Trash on your Mac.
If the file you are looking for is not in the Downloads folder but you know its name, you can open the Spotlight Search to search for it. Alternatively, you can view the download history in your browser to find the downloaded file.

Free Up Space on Mac with BuhoCleaner

It's a good practice to periodically clean out your Downloads folder to free up disk space and keep your Mac organized. Below we introduce a professional Mac cleaner application - BuhoCleaner - to help you keep your Mac clean and run fast.

You can use BuhoCleaner to perform a flash scan for your Mac to remove various junk files to release a large amount of free space. You can also use it to completely uninstall apps that you don’t need, find and delete large or duplicate files, analyze disk space, free up RAM, flush DNS, and more.

Download and install BuhoCleaner on your Mac and use it to free up space on your Mac like emptying your Mac Downloads folder.

Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide
  1. Launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click Toolkit > Disk Space Analyzer.
  3. Select Macintosh HD and click Scan to scan your Mac disk to find all folders on your Mac. It will also display the size of each folder.
  4. Click Users > Your Name and check the Downloads folder.
  5. Click the Remove button to empty your Mac’s Downloads folder.
delete Downloads on Mac with BuhoCleaner

Bottom Line

This post mainly introduces how to open the Downloads folder on Mac and how to empty it to release space. For more Mac and iPhone tips, please visit https://www.drbuho.com/.


Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 10 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way that anyone can understand.