General Move or Restore Default Location of Downloads Folder in Windows 11


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Downloads_folder_banner.png

The Downloads folder (shell:Downloads) is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the Downloads folder is a shell folder in the user's profile (%UserProfile%) that is used as a default storage location for saved downloads.

If you like, you can move the Downloads folder and its content to a location you want it at instead.

If the current Downloads folder path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path.

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Downloads folder for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Move Location of Downloads Folder in Properties
  • Option Two: Restore Default Location of Downloads Folder in Properties
  • Option Three: Restore Default Location of Downloads Folder using BAT file




Option One

Move Location of Downloads Folder in Properties


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Navigate to the location (ex: "D") you want to move your Downloads folder to, and create a new folder named Downloads at this location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Downloads_folder-1.png

3 Right click on the Downloads folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Downloads folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:Downloads into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Downloads folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Downloads folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Downloads_folder-2.png

4 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Move button. (see screenshot below)

Move_Downloads_folder-3.png

5 Navigate to and select the new Downloads folder from step 2, and click/tap on Select Folder. (see screenshot below)

Move_Downloads_folder-4.png

6 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Move_Downloads_folder-5.png

7 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the new location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Downloads_folder-6.png




Option Two

Restore Default Location of Downloads Folder in Properties


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Right click on the Downloads folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Downloads folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:Downloads into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Downloads folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Downloads folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Downloads_folder-2.png

3 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Restore Default button. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Downloads_folder-2.png

4 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Downloads_folder-3.png

5 If prompted to create a Downloads folder at the default location, click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Downloads_folder-4.png

6 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the default location. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Downloads_folder-5.png




Option Three

Restore Default Location of Downloads Folder using BAT file


This option can be very useful if Option Two is not available or didn't work.

This option will not move the contents of the Downloads folder from the old location to the default location. You will need to manually move the contents after restoring the default location if wanted.


1 Click/tap on the download button below to download the Restore_default_location_of_Downloads_folder.bat file.


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

timeout /t 2 /nobreak >nul

if not exist "%UserProfile%\Downloads" mkdir "%UserProfile%\Downloads"

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}" /t REG_SZ /d "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Downloads" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Downloads" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "{7D83EE9B-2244-4E70-B1F5-5393042AF1E4}" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Downloads" /f

attrib +r -s -h "%USERPROFILE%\Downloads" /S /D

timeout /t 1 /nobreak >nul

start explorer.exe

2 Save the BAT file to your desktop.

3 Unblock and run the BAT file.

4 You will now see a command prompt open and close to kill the explorer process, run the commands to restore the default location and attributes of the Downloads folder, and restart the explorer process.

5 You can now delete the BAT file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Downloads_folder.png
    Downloads_folder.png
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  • Restore_default_location_of_Downloads_folder.bat
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