1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2008 12:17 PM by baltwo
JHO2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I want this folder to be on a different hard drive... is there a way?

Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5.1), iPhone
  • 1. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    Christoph *** Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    Do you mean the 'Downloads' folder located under Hard Drive/Users/Your name/Downloads? Also, what do you mean by 'different Hard Drive'? Please elaborate.
  • 2. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,180 points)
    Some applications let you select a folder of your choice for downloads. For instance, in Safari you do this in the General preferences tab. Whatever you select there applies to all downloads done through that app, but only that app.

    For Software Update, you have no choice -- if you select the "download only" option it will be placed in the default "Downloads" folder.
  • 3. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    JHO2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi - I'm sorry I should have elaborated more. The download folder located in the dock. I would like that folder to actually be on another internal drive on my new mac pro. Is there a way to change it's location? I know that Safari, iChat and even Firefox can be told to save files there. I want the folder itself to reside on my secondary drive but still live in the dock.
  • 4. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    Tony T1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,385 points)
    One way is to first drag the existing downloads folder out of the dock (Poof!), then create a new download folder on your other internal drive and then drag it to the dock (creating an alias), and then telling each program (Safari, Mail, iChat, etc) to save to the download folder on your other internal drive
  • 5. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    JHO2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I want the downloads folder on the dock to be a folder on my secondary drive, not my root drive, basically. Same functionality etc just that folder "lives" on my data drive (2nd drive in my new mac pro)
  • 6. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,180 points)
    As I said, some apps let you choose any folder you want, some don't. You can select one folder on your other drive for all the downloads for apps that give you that choice & place that on the Dock. Once you set that as the designated folder in each of those apps, that's where downloads instigated by those apps will be placed.

    But some apps, notably Software Update's "Download only" option, will only download to the ~/Downloads folder -- there is no option to select another folder. There are workarounds for this, like creating an admin user account just for updates & setting its home folder to the second drive via the advanced options in the Accounts system preference, but that is obviously a less than perfect solution.
  • 7. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    Christoph *** Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    Try this:

    Go into Safari preferences.
    Click the 'General' tab.
    There will be an option that says: Save Downloaded Files To... (the default is the downloads folder).
    Click where it has the menu of downloaded locations.
    Choose 'other'.
    Choose somewhere on your external drive.

    ~Christoph
  • 8. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    JHO2008 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yep, I hear you. Bottom line is, "no" it can't be done the way I want; you can't set a preference (so to speak) to have the leopard download folder point to any drive you want. It's a folder in your home user area it seems on the system drive.

    I guess the best work around is Tony1 suggestion, I'll try that and then tell my apps to point to that folder. Will miss the little folder icon though!

    Thanks for the feedback all !
  • 9. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,180 points)
    JHO2008 wrote:
    Will miss the little folder icon though!


    There is no reason you can't put a shortcut to that folder in the Dock, or even name it "Downloads" & copy the icon from the default one to it. You also don't have the keep the ~/Downloads folder in the Dock. It just has to exist in the home folder so that Software Update will find & use it as required, but that isn't dependent on the Dock shortcut existing. If you need to access it occasionally, you can still navigate to it in the Finder.
  • 10. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    Marklar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    RC -R

    True, you can copy the download folder's icon by selecting "get info" then clicking the icon, selecting copy, then selecting the target/desired folder for downloads, selecting "get info", clicking once on the icon and selecting paste.

    However, this doesn't get you the uber-cool green download arrow in the sidebar.

    Leopard really should have a preference in System Preferences for a default Downloads folder location...no matter the drive or location. I too prefer my downloads be directed to a different drive and had manually created "downloads" folders in my sidebars in prior versions of the OS.

    As others have commented, the icons in Leopard for the special folders lack differentiation in both color and silhouette/shape, relying on those embossed characters that are a bit too subtle for my tastes...but that's just opinion.

    Similarly, Leopard should introduce default browser and media app selection in preferences instead of requiring the launch of Safari or QuickTime etc.. It's an incredibly poor choice to bury preferences with system wide applicability in proprietary apps.
  • 11. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    Marklar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    one last thing the lack of being able to define / select the downloads folder is that if you do an "install and keep" update via Apple's Software Update the software package will appear in the official / Apple designated Downloads Folder.

    Note: this is Leopard specific, in Tiger they still end up in the Library / Packages Folder.
  • 12. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)
    Some will go there, others will go into /Library/Updates/. I've filed a bug report pointing out the inconsistency.
  • 13. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,180 points)
    Marklar wrote:
    ... if you do an "install and keep" update via Apple's Software Update the software package will appear in the official / Apple designated Downloads Folder.


    Yes, I've mentioned this several times in earlier posts.

    baltwo wrote:
    Some will go there, others will go into /Library/Updates/.


    I'm not certain, but I believe this (& possibly the general lack of a choice of download location) has something to do with whether or not the update requires a restart. Many of these Leopard updates work like they only occasionally did with Tiger: the restart occurs before the install, not after. It seems (so far) that only updates that do not require a restart may go into /Library/Updates/; those that do always go into the ~/Downloads folder.
  • 14. Re: How to change folder location for Downloads
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)
    It seems (so far) that only updates that do not require a restart may go into /Library/Updates/; those that do always go into the ~/Downloads folder.


    Interestingly, I see the opposite. Updates that require a restart go to /Library/Updates/ and the ones that don't go to ~/Downloads/. Early on, I launched SU, saw the iTunes 4.6, QuickTime 7.4, and Front Row 2.1.2 updates. Selected all three and chose install and save packages. The QuickTime package was saved to /Library/Updates/ but the other two went to ~/Downloads. Additionally, after installing the QT update and restarting, the saved QT folder in /Library/Updates/ was deleted. Subsequently, I now let SU install the packages and now manually copy any that are put in /Library/Updates/, so they don't get blown away during the restart. I've filed bug reports on both of these anomalies.
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