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How to Organize and Improve Your Downloads Folder in 3 Easy Steps

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By default, everything you grab from the web gets thrown into your Downloads folder. This means that it can quickly become a jumbled mess. If your Downloads folder is out of control, here are three tips that can help you improve management and keep it straight.

Don’t forget that you can also set a specific download folder by file type How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox Keeping your downloads folder organized can be a hassle, but it’s a lot easier when you can automatically download certain file types to specifically assigned folders. Read More .

1. Change the Default Download Location

If you’d like to save downloaded files somewhere else, like your desktop or an external drive, it’s easy to make that change in any browser. To do it in Chrome, go to Menu > Settings.

Scroll to the bottom and choose Advanced. Under the Downloads header, click the Change button next to the Location field to pick a default spot. If you check Ask where to save each file, Chrome lets you pick where each file goes.

In Firefox, visit Menu > Options. On the General tab, scroll down to the Files and Applications header.

Next to Save files to, select a new folder with the Browse button. You can also check Always ask you where to save files to decide each time. Deciding where to save files each time lets you separate them by type, thus keeping your Downloads folder cleaner.

2.

Save Downloads to Cloud Storage

If you save downloads to your local PC, you might want to think about saving to cloud storage by default. Placing the files in Dropbox, Google Drive, or similar folders on your PC means you’ll have a backup copy of the file shortly after downloading it. This comes in handy for backing up program installers, which might disappear.

It also makes it easy to keep the installers for you favorite software handy–this could help when setting up a new computer New PC?

12 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First New PC?

12 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First If you just got a new computer, you might wonder which programs you need. We show you the 12 most essential and best Windows tools any user should install. Read More . However, note that if you frequently download large files, this could use up your space quickly.

3.

Sort Downloads by Date, Not Name

Most file explorers sort files by name by default. While this is useful for many cases, it’s far more useful to sort your Downloads folder by date. This keeps your recently downloaded files at the top for easy access.

To do so, just click the Date header to sort from newest to oldest files. For more, check out some great ideas for managing your PC’s files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas for Managing Your Computer Files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas for Managing Your Computer Files It’s frustrating isn’t it when you can’t find that file?

When you’ve searched every folder imaginable on your computer, and somehow it got lost….or worse, deleted.

Now, there are excellent search tools for Windows that… Read More .

Image Credit: Faithie/Depositphotos

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How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox

Keeping your downloads folder organized can be a hassle, but there are a few automated ways to keep the mess under control. You can automatically delete files older than 30 days How to Automatically Delete Old Files in the Windows Downloads Folder[2] How to Automatically Delete Old Files in the Windows Downloads Folder If you want to keep your Downloads folder uncluttered and free of wasted space, you should turn on this nifty Windows 10 feature. Read More[3][4] , and you can save files to specific folders based on file type. We’ll show you how to do the latter in this article.[1]

How to Auto-Save File Types to Specific Folders

The Chrome extension RegExp Download Organizer[5] allows you to create rules for downloaded file types.

For example, every time you download a PDF, it will be automatically saved to a folder of your choice in the downloads folder. You can also filter down to specific file types. For example, you can save all images to one folder, or you can create a separate folder for JPEGs, another for PNGs, etc.

The Chrome extension comes with a couple of rules already created: one for images and one for torrents. Let’s say you want to create a new rule for PDFs, enter the following:

  1. For MIME (Filetype), enter application/pdf.
  2. For Destination Path, select pdf/ (or the folder name of your choice).

The extension includes a list of rules you can use for various file types, including compressed files (ZIP), Windows executable files (EXE), audio files, and video files.

How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox File Types As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also create rules based on specific URLs and file names.

How to Add “Save In” Folders to the Right-Click Menu

If you would rather add specific locations you can choose from as you save the file, there is an extension available that does that. The Save In extension (Chrome[6], Firefox[7]) requires extensive permissions when installing, including the ability to read and change all data on websites you visit.

By way of contrast, the aforementioned RegExp Download Organizer extension only requires permission to manage your downloads. If you decide Save In is right for you, once you’ve installed the extension, when you right-click a link or file in your browser, you’ll now see Save in in your context menu, with two folder options already listed: images and video. If you save a file to these locations, your browser will automatically create those subfolders in your Downloads folder if they don’t exist.

To add or modify the locations on that list, open the extension options in your browser and just add them to the existing list: How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox Add Download Locations When you right-click a file, those locations will now be available in your context menu:

How to Set Specific Download Folders for File Types in Chrome and Firefox Save in folders If you want to select a folder that isn’t in the downloads folder, it gets a little more complicated and will require you to create a symbolic link What Is a Symbolic Link & What Are Its Uses? [MakeUseOf Explains][9] What Is a Symbolic Link & What Are Its Uses? [MakeUseOf Explains] Read More[10][11] . If that seems too complicated for you and you really want to save your files to folders that aren’t in the downloads folder, there is one more option to consider:[8]

Mac users can automatically move files to and from specific folders using automated rules with Hazel Hazel – Performing Tasks On Your Mac So You Don’t Have To[13] Hazel – Performing Tasks On Your Mac So You Don’t Have To I have previously written an entire MUO guide about using Apple’s smart folders and Automator program, but a classic third-party application called Hazel is one of my personal automation assistants that works in the background,… Read More[14][15] or Mac’s Automator, while Windows users can give QuickMove[16] a try.[12]

[17]

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References

  1. ^ automatically delete files older than 30 days (www.makeuseof.com)
  2. ^ How to Automatically Delete Old Files in the Windows Downloads Folder (www.makeuseof.com)
  3. ^ How to Automatically Delete Old Files in the Windows Downloads Folder (www.makeuseof.com)
  4. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  5. ^ RegExp Download Organizer (chrome.google.com)
  6. ^ Chrome (chrome.google.com)
  7. ^ Firefox (addons.mozilla.org)
  8. ^ symbolic link (www.makeuseof.com)
  9. ^ What Is a Symbolic Link & What Are Its Uses? [MakeUseOf Explains] (www.makeuseof.com)
  10. ^ What Is a Symbolic Link & What Are Its Uses? [MakeUseOf Explains] (www.makeuseof.com)
  11. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  12. ^ automated rules with Hazel (www.makeuseof.com)
  13. ^ Hazel – Performing Tasks On Your Mac So You Don’t Have To (www.makeuseof.com)
  14. ^ Hazel – Performing Tasks On Your Mac So You Don’t Have To (www.makeuseof.com)
  15. ^ Read More (www.makeuseof.com)
  16. ^ QuickMove (www.thecodeline.com)
  17. ^ (www.makeuseof.com)

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