How to Delete Downloads on Mac

For Mac How-To

Wondering how to delete downloads on Mac? We’ve got you covered. This post covers a detailed guide on how you can get rid of downloaded items and files on macOS.

Well, even if you send the downloaded files to the Trash folder, a few traces remain intact on your device, especially in the browser history and cache. So, today we will be learning about how to permanently delete downloads on Mac by removing all traces related to the downloaded files.

Also read: How To Delete Downloaded Files And Folders To Clean Your Mac

How to Delete Download Files on macOS?

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As we’re all aware, the Downloads folder is placed in the Mac’s Dock, right? Although, if you don’t see the Downloads folder in the Dock, you can access it by tapping the Go> Downloads option from the top menu bar. So, to delete the downloads on the Mac, here’s what you need to do:

Open the Downloads folder on your Mac. Now hit the Command + A key combination and select all the files.

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Once all the files present in the Downloads folder are selected, right-click on the selected files and tap on the “Move to Trash” option in the context menu.

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Voila! The selected files will be automatically moved to your Mac’s Trash folder.

So, the next step is to empty the Trash Bin. Look for the Trash folder icon in the Dock, right-click on it and select “Empty Trash” to remove the files from the Trash bin.

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But wait, is that it? By removing the files from the Trash folder is not enough.  A few traces of the Downloaded files can still be found in the web browser, from where the original files were initially downloaded. Hence, the next important step is to clear the browsing history of the respective browser that you used for downloading the files.

Also read: Best Ways To Combine/Merge PDF Files On Mac (2022)

How to Remove Traces of Downloaded Files from Web Browsers?

netflix

Even if you remove the downloads from the Trash folder, a few traces of the source files still exist in the web browser’s history. To delete downloads on Mac permanently, you need to make sure that you delete the browsing history of each web browser installed on your device including Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.

Here’s how you can delete the browsing history on different browsers installed on your device to delete downloads on Mac.

Also read: Accidentally Deleted Windows 10 Downloads Folder – Here Are The Fixes

Safari:

To delete the Safari browsing history on Mac, follow these quick steps:

Launch the Safari browser on your Mac. Tap on the “History” option placed on the top menu bar and then select “Clear History”.

history

A new pop-up window will now appear on the screen. You can now choose between multiple options. Tap on the “Clear all history” button to clear the entire browsing history.

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And that’s it!

Also read: How To Remove Safari Extensions On Mac

Google Chrome:

To delete the browsing history of the Chrome web browser, here’s what you need to do:

Launch Google Chrome browser on your Mac. Tap on Windows> Downloads option placed on the top menu bar.

clear-all

In the Downloads window, tap the three-dot icons placed on the top-right corner of the screen. Hit on “Clear all” to delete the browsing history stored on the Chrome browser.

Mozilla Firefox:

Compared to other web browsers, Firefox offers you quick access to delete browsing history. Here’s what you need to do.

Launch Mozilla Firefox on your Mac. Tap on Tools> Downloads option placed on the top menu bar.

A new window will now appear on the screen. Hit on the “Clear Downloads” button to wipe off the download history stored on Firefox.

clear-downloads

And now to delete the browsing history, follow these quick steps:

Launch Firefox, tap on the “History” option placed on the top menu bar, and then hit on the “Clear Recent History” option from the context menu.

FAQs:

Q.1 How do you clear your Downloads on a Mac?

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Image source: Aiseesoft

To delete downloads on Mac, first, remove all the items that are stored in the Downloads folder. Empty the Trash folder and then clear the browsing history of all the web browsers installed on your device including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Q.2 Why can’t I delete my Downloads on my Mac?

If you’re unable to delete downloads on Mac, it means either one or multiple files stored in the Downloads is being used by the OS or are currently open. To make sure that you don’t experience any interruptions while clearing Downloads, Force quit all apps, reboot your device and then try deleting the Downloads.

Q.3 Should I clear my Downloads folder on Mac?

Yes, absolutely. There’s no harm in removing the files from the Downloads folder on Mac. But yes, before you delete the items, make sure you review all the files to ensure you don’t delete any important files by mistake.

Conclusion

Here was a quick guide on how to permanently delete downloads on Mac. Deleting the files stored in the Downloads folder can instantly free up space on your Mac. Make sure that you empty the Trash bin and delete the browsing history of all the web browsers.

How frequently do you delete files stored in the Downloads folder of your Mac? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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