The Downloads folder is one of the important folders in the Windows operating system. All files downloaded with the help of a web browser like Google Chrome are automatically saved to the Downloads folder.
Because the Downloads folder contains all downloaded files, the size of the folder can easily run into GBs quickly. If you do not want to lose your downloaded files when you reinstall Windows 10/11 or want to free up the space on the Windows 10/11 install drive, you can move the Downloads folder to another drive.
Like other personal folders, Windows 10 and 11 allow you to move the Downloads folder as well. This guide will show you how to move the Downloads folder in Windows 10/11.
Change the Downloads folder location in Windows 10/11
NOTE: In addition to the internal drive, you can also move the Downloads folder to an external USB drive as well. However, if you do so, you need to keep the USB drive always connected to your computer.
Step 1: Open the Run command box using the Windows logo + R hotkey or search.
Step 2: In the Run command, type shell:usersfilesfolder and press Enter.
Step 3: In the resulting folder, right-click on the Downloads folder and then click the Properties option.
NOTE: You can also right-click the Downloads folder in the File Explorer navigation pane (left pane) and then click the Properties.
Step 4: Here, click on the Location tab. Under the Location tab, click the Move button. Next, select a drive other than the Windows 10/11 installation drive and then click the Select folder button.
Step 5: Finally, click the Apply button.
Step 6: When you get the confirmation prompt, click the Yes button. That’s it! The Downloads folder and all files and folders inside the folder will be moved to the new location.
Move the Downloads folder back to the original location in Windows 10/11
Step 1: In the File Explorer, right-click on the Downloads folder and then click Properties.
Step 2: Under the Location tab, click on the Restore Default button and then click the Apply button. Click the Yes button if you get the confirmation prompt.