Finding the downloaded files on your Android device is usually an easy task. The steps to finding them vary slightly, depending on what kind of device you have, but for some reason, the downloaded files tend to “disappear” sometimes.
The files haven’t disappeared, though. You just have to dig in to your Android device’s settings to find them. In some cases, you may need to install a file manager to help you keep those downloaded files under control. Let’s take a look at some options.
Look in The Downloads Folder
Like most computer, Android does come with a “Downloads” folder to store all your downloaded files. If you’ve been using Android for years, this should be obvious to you. To access the Downloads folder, launch the default File Manager app and towards the top, you’ll see the “Download history” option.
You should now see the file you recently downloaded with a date and time. If you tap on the “More” option at the top right, you can do more with your downloaded files. For example, you can clear your download history, edit, share, and sort by.
To make your downloads easier to find, you can use the “Sort by” option and organize them either by time, type, name, size, ascending or descending – whatever works best for you.
Depending on your version of Android, your may not see a Download History option. Instead, look for “Download” or “Downloads” instead.
Another option within File Manager is a search feature. Tap the search icon at the top and enter part of your file name. You can even filter your search by file type.
Check Your App Settings
Many apps have their own download settings. Instead of sending your Android downloads to your device’s download folder by default, they’re sent to the app’s download folder. If you’re using a file manager app, find the app’s folder, open it, and look for your file.
You can also check within your app’s settings. You may be able to change where files are downloaded by default to keep everything more organized on your device.
Use a Third-Party File Explorer
While the built-in file manager works well enough in Android, it’s not perfect. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try a third-party file explorer app. There are a variety of Android file managers to use. However, a highly popular and useful option is X-plore File Manager. The dual-pane feature makes it a personal favorite.
It’s easy to use. The menu on the right includes a Find feature. You don’t need to know the full file name. I also love that search tips are included in the search box. Enter part of your file name and locate your file in seconds.
Download Another File
If you can’t find your Android downloads now, why would you download something else? When you download a file, you get a notification in your device’s notification tray. The notification looks like a checkmark. Tap it and you’re sent to the downloaded file, meaning you can also check out where the download came from. This is an easy way to see where your downloads are stored by default.
How to Find the Downloads Folder from Your Windows Computer
If you just can’t stand how small things look on your Android device, you can always look at your downloads on your computer. Connect your Android device to your computer with a USB cable, and within a few seconds, you should see a prompt appear offering to show you the contents of the device you connected.
The next window will offer various options such as import/export (among others). Click on the one that allows you to see the contents of your Android device. Click on the Phone option and scroll down until you find the Downloads folder. Just open it and do whatever you please.
Find Your Downloads in Chrome
You downloaded an image last week but accidentally erased it from your device. To recover that image, open Chrome (provided Chrome is your default browser), and the second icon to the left should be an arrow pointing down. Tap on it, and all your downloads will appear.
If you want to find a specific file such as video, tap on the drop-down menu beside Downloads and tap on videos (or whatever file you’re looking for).
Find your Firefox Downloads
Firefox makes it just as easy to find your downloads. Once you have the browser open, tap on the three vertical dots at the top-right of your display. Tap on Tools, and the first option on the list should be Downloads. Tap on it, and you should see all the files you’ve downloaded.
Unlike Chrome, Firefox doesn’t let you search for a specific type of file, they’re all mixed up, which may make them more difficult to find.
How to Access Downloads Folder in Opera
Instead of tapping on dots to access the Downloads folder, you’ll need to tap on the Opera icon. Upon seeing the Downloads option, tap on it, and you should now see everything you’ve downloaded.
As you can see, your downloaded files didn’t disappear, they just went to a folder created especially for that. To dig a little deeper still into your Android directories, you should read our guide on how to install TWRP Recovery. Or if you’ve started dabbling in streaming movies and TV between your devices, see our list of the best DLNA streaming apps.