How To Move Downloads Folder To Another Drive Windows 10

If the Downloads folder is eating aways you C drive space, here are the steps to move the download folder in Windows 10.

An average internet user downloads a lot of stuff, be it software programs, media files, game files, documents, etc. Whenever you download something in Windows, it will be automatically stored in the Downloads folder. This is great because you don’t have to dig through different folders to find the downloaded file. Also, this eliminates the need for your installed applications to create or set their own downloads folder.

In Windows, each user has their own Downloads folder within their home directory located in the C drive. To be specific, you can find the downloads folder at C:\Users\<username>\Downloads\ location.

As you download different things, the downloads folder gets crowded and takes up the precious hard drive space in the C drive. This is especially true if you don’t clean up the downloads folder regularly. Filling up C drive limits the number of applications you can install and might even show low disk space warning. Not to mention, when you re-install Windows or when you cannot boot into it, you might lose all the files in the Downloads folder.

To avoid that, you can move the downloads folder to another drive in Windows 10. This makes sure that you are not filling up the C drive with random downloads. Personally, moving the downloads folder to another drive is one of the first things I do after installing Windows.

Here’s how to move downloads folder to another drive in Windows 10.

Note: I’m showing this in Windows 10 but the same method will work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Jump to:

Why Change Default Downloads Location in Windows 10? (Benefits of Moving Downloads Folder)

There are many benefits to moving the downloads folder to another drive. Here are some of them:

  • As the downloaded files are stored on some other partition or drive, you will have more space in C drive.
  • Ability to access downloaded files even when you are dual booting.
  • The downloaded files will be safe even when you reinstall Windows.
  • The downloaded files can be accessed even when you cannot boot into Windows.

Since the benefits are out of the way, follow the procedure below.

Move Downloads Folder to Another Drive

Before you can move downloads folder, you first have to create a new downloads folder in the new location.

1. Open the File Explorer with the keyboard shortcut Win +E.

2. Go to the drive where you want to move the downloads folder, right-click and select “New > Folder.” Name the new folder as “Downloads.” The name doesn’t have to be Downloads, you can name it whatever you want. In my case, I created the Downloads folder in the root of E:\ drive.

Create new folder in another drive and name it Downloads
Create new folder in another drive and name it Downloads

3. After creating the folder, right-click on the original Downloads folder under Quick Access and select the option “Properties.”

Note: If you can’t find the download folder under Quick Access, you can find it under your home directory C:\Users\<username>\. Replace <username> with your actual Windows username. Once replaced, it looks something like C:\Users\Vamsi\.

Right-click on the Download folder under Quick Access and select Properties
Right-click on the Download folder under Quick Access and select Properties

4. In the properties window, go to the “Location” tab and click on the “Move” button.

Click on the Move button under Location tab
Click on the Move button under Location tab

5. In the Select a Destination window, go to the folder you created earlier, select it, and click on the “Select Folder” button.

Select the folder you've created earlier in another drive
Select the folder you’ve created earlier in another drive

6. The new location will be added to the properties window. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” button to save changes.

Click on the Apply and Ok buttons
Click on the Apply and Ok buttons

7. You will be prompted whether you would like to move all the files from the old to new location. Click “Yes” to continue. I recommend you to move the files so that you can access all the files in the new location.

Click YES to move files from old Downloads folder to new Downloads folder
Click YES to move files from old Downloads folder to new Downloads folder

8. As soon as you click on the button, Windows will move all the files to the new location. Windows will also change the folder icon automatically. This is your new default Downloads folder in another drive.

You've successfully moved Downloads folder to another drive in Windows 10
You’ve successfully moved Downloads folder to another drive in Windows 10

From now on, anything you download will be automatically stored in the new downloads location. Just like before, you can access the new downloads folder from your home folder or by clicking on the “Downloads” link under the “Quick Access” section in the File Explorer.

You can use this exact method to move any folder in Windows to another drive or location. If you like this article, do check out how to delete Windows BT and Windows WS folder to free a lot of waste space in the C drive. Comment below to share your thoughts or any problems you face when moving the downloads folder in Windows.

12 thoughts on “How To Move Downloads Folder To Another Drive Windows 10”

  1. Avatar for Tim

    Thank you! I have been wanting to move this folder to another drive for so long. Great step-by-step article. Very easy, and it worked perfectly!

  2. Avatar for RS

    This was useful, since my C: is the SSD (not a lot of space).
    I’ll think I’ll remember this simple technique from now on, less headaches.

    Thank you.

  3. Avatar for Confused Human

    I did everything, and when I try to download something it automatically creates a new Downloads folder in the original, smaller drive and downloads it to there. I have no clue what to do.

  4. Avatar for Paul Szillat

    After moving successfully my original downloads folder to another drive in win10 I lost the ability to use the
    downloads function in my laptop if the drive is not plugged in. Appreciate any advice and help?
    Thanks,
    Paul

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      > If the drive is not plugged in

      Did you move the Downloads folder to an external drive? If that’s the case, there is no way Windows/program can access a drive that is not plugged in.

  5. Avatar for David Johnson

    Hi, after selecting properties>location>move the directory dialog window closes and I cannot complete the operation? I am on a Windows 10 PC

  6. Avatar for John

    Hi. I have a related question/problem. I’m adding a 2nd SSD drive to a windows 10 pro computer. I only want to download several certain programs that I’m buying to my 2nd drive. All other normal downloads I’ll want to go to my original SSD that’s already in the computer. Reading up on it, I thought I was going to change the download location in Firefox, and then under “settings -system- change the ” new documents will save to ” from “this PC (C:)” to “Storage (D:)” setting. ( or what ever letter windows sets up for the new SSD after windows initializes it. So the question is, would I need to add a “download folder” to my 2nd SSD drive also ?? ( not moving the original one on the 1st SSD ) Any other tips on this process would be greatly appreciated. Thanks fir your time.

  7. Avatar for Verne

    This is about the third explanation for this that doesn’t work for the same reason. under the properties for downloads there is no location icon. This has been for me a great issue as C drive is now full and I can’t function as it is only 128GB ssd and windows updates and programs have filled. It, just hate windows ten, never had any of these issues with xp, could do it all myself. Any help would be appreciated.

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