How to change where the downloaded Safari items are saved

Beginning with iOS 13, iPhone has an enhanced Safari browser with a Mac-like download manager. With this, iPhone and iPad users can download all sorts of files from the Internet, like PDFs or ZIPs, and store them locally in a folder inside the Files app.

This brief tutorial shows you how to change the location where Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac downloads the files.

Safari downloads folder on iPhone

Change Safari downloads location on iPhone and iPad

By default, Safari stores all your downloaded items in the Downloads folder on iCloud, making them available across any iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows device signed in to the same iCloud account. But it’s easy to change that.

Here’s how to use any folder for Safari downloads:

  1. Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap Safari.
  2. Tap Downloads.
  3. Select Other.
  4. Choose any folder inside iCloud Drive or On My iPhone and tap Done. You can also tap the folder plus icon to create a new folder and set it as the download location.
Change Safari downloads location on iPhone

From now, any file you download in Safari will be saved inside this folder from where you can easily access this.

Tip: Choose iCloud Drive or On My iPhone in Safari settings to default back to the Downloads folder.

Please note:

1) Even if you have added third-party locations like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive to the Files app, you can’t select them as a possible Safari downloads folder. You must select a folder in iCloud Drive or locally On My iPhone.

Third-party locations blurred in Files app

2) Selecting a folder in iCloud Drive as your download location is handy as it will upload the downloaded files to iCloud and make them accessible from your other Apple devices like Mac, iPhone, or iPad. However, if you’re on the limited 5 GB plan, it may quickly fill up your iCloud. So, you will have to either free iCloud space, upgrade to a paid iCloud+ plan, or live with problems like failing device backups and more.

3) On Mac, if you set “Ask for each download,” you can choose the desired folder location on a per download basis. However, you don’t have this choice on iPhone.

4) The above setting only affects the files you download when you see a download popup like the one below. For several supported files and websites, you can continue to tap the share icon and choose Save to Files > choose any folder > Save/Done.

Download popup in iPhone Safari

Change Safari downloads folder on Mac

Here’s how to set any Finder folder as the preferred Safari download location on Mac:

  1. Open Safari and press the Command + Comma (,) keys. You can also click the word Safari from the top left and choose Preferences.
  2. Make sure you’re in the General tab.
  3. Click the dropdown menu next to File download location.
  4. Click Other, choose any Finder folder, and then click Select. If you want files to save to iCloud Drive, choose that from the left sidebar. In case you don’t have a specific folder in mind, you can set Ask for each download and choose any folder while initiating a file download.
File download location in Safari on Mac

If you don’t see the iCloud Drive folder, that’s because you haven’t enabled it in the first place. To do that, click  > System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and check iCloud Drive.

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