How to Move the Downloads Folder in Windows 11

By default, the “Downloads” folder in Windows 11 and previous versions of the system is located inside the user folder on drive C. In some cases: for example, if there is not enough space on the system partition of the disk or if you want to store downloads on the HDD instead of the SSD, it may be useful to move it.

This guide will tell you how to move your Downloads to another drive or folder, what to consider when doing so, and what problems you may encounter during the process.

How to Move the Downloads Folder in Windows 11

Here are the ways to transfer Downloads to Windows 11:

Folder properties

The basic option for moving the Downloads folder to another location is the properties of that folder. The steps will be as follows:

  1. In Windows 11 Explorer, on the Home page or in the navigation bar on the left, right-click the Downloads folder and select Properties.
  2. Go to the “Location” tab.
  3. Click the “Move” button to select a new folder on your computer, or manually enter the path to the new location of the “Downloads” folder – for example, you can move it to drive D. Important: do not specify the root of the drive as the location, this must be exactly what you have in advance created folder on any disk, otherwise problems are possible, which are discussed later in the article.
  4. Click “Ok” and confirm moving the folder and, if necessary, the data already in it to the new location.

Done, the Downloads folder has been moved.

If you previously changed the location of the Downloads folder and specified the root of the drive as the location, and now you are unable to change the folder location due to an error, you can use the following method to resolve the issue.

Registry Editor

The second option for changing the download folder is to use the Registry Editor. Necessary actions:

  1. Press the Win+R keys on your keyboard, or right-click on the “Start” button and select “Run”, type regedit and press Enter
  2. In the Registry Editor, go to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

  1. Double-click the parameter named {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} in the right pane of the Registry Editor.
  2. Enter the desired Downloads folder path as the setting value.
  3. Confirm the changes, close Registry Editor, and restart your computer.

Please note that using this method will not automatically transfer data from the old folder to the new location.

Downloads in the browser

Most programs for downloading files, including browsers, use the system “Downloads” folder by default, but allow you to configure the location manually, for example:

  • In Google Chrome, you can configure the folder in “Settings” – “Downloaded files”.
  • In Microsoft Edge, the required settings are located in Settings – Downloads – Location.
  • In Yandex Browser, the same can be configured in Settings – Tools – Uploaded files.

Additional Information

If you specify not a folder on the disk as the location of the “Downloads” folder, but the disk itself, for example, D:\, this will lead to some problems:

  • The library will begin to appear not as “Downloads”, but by disk name.
  • When using Windows Disk Cleanup, if you forget to turn off download cleaning, the entire disk will be automatically cleaned.
  • And, most importantly, if you try to change the Downloads folder again or return it to the default location, you will receive an error message:

If you encounter this, use the move method in Registry Editor to resolve the issue.

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