4 ways to delete a downloaded file

Table of contents:

4 ways to delete a downloaded file
4 ways to delete a downloaded file
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When your downloaded files start to pile up, they can take up your free space which could be better used for something else. Deleting your downloaded files regularly will save you a lot of space and make it easy for you to find the files you need. The process for deleting your files varies depending on the operating system you are using.

Steps

Method 1 of 4: Windows

Remove a Downloaded File Step 1

Step 1. Open your Downloads / My Downloads folder

You can have quick access to this folder by pressing Windows key + E then select the folder.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 2

Step 2. Find the file you want to delete

Most of your programs will place downloaded files in the Downloads folder.

Some programs will create their own download folders. If you know the program you used to download the file, check its settings to see the folder where the files are saved on your computer

Remove a Downloaded File Step 3

Step 3. Find the file if you know its name

If you cannot find the file in your Downloads folder and know its name, you can use the Windows search feature to try to locate it. Press the Windows key and type the name of the file. If Windows can find it, it will appear in the search results list.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 4

Step 4. If you cannot find the file, open your browser's download manager

If you recently downloaded the file, it might still be in your web browser's download manager. This will allow you to directly open a window where the file you want to delete is located.

  • With Chrome, press Ctrl + J. Click the Show folder link of the file you want to delete.
  • With Firefox, press Ctrl + J to open the Downloads section of the Library. Click the folder icon to the right of the file name to open the location of the downloaded file.
  • With Internet Explorer, press Ctrl + J or click the gear icon and select Show Downloads. Click on the link that is in the Location column to navigate to the file you want to delete.
Remove a Downloaded File Step 5

Step 5. Drag the file to your Trash

You can also select the file and press Delete or right click on the file and select Delete.

If your file cannot be deleted, it is because it is in use by another program. This situation is more common with file sharing programs because someone might be downloading the file from your computer. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again

Repair

Remove a Downloaded File Step 6

Step 1. I cannot delete the file

If Windows won't let you delete the file, it's probably because it's in use by another program. This is typically the case if you downloaded the file with BitTorrent and continued to share it, or you have already opened it in another program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.

If you are still having difficulty deleting the file, click here

Method 2 of 4: Mac

Remove a Downloaded File Step 7

Step 1. Open your Downloads folder

You can access the Downloads folder from your Dock as well as from the sidebar of any Finder window. This is the default location where most applications will download files. If you've changed the download location in the Preferences menu of any of your apps, you should check the location you specified.

You can also click on your desktop and then click Finder → Username → Downloads

Remove a Downloaded File Step 8

Step 2. Find the file you want to delete

Browse your Downloads folder until you find the file you want to delete.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 9

Step 3. Limit your search to disk image files

Mac programs are downloaded as DMG files, which are disk image files that contain the program. When you install a program, the DMG file remains in your Downloads folder and takes up space on your disk.

In the search bar in the upper right corner, type disk image and select Disk Image or dmg from the Types section. This will limit the display to only DMG files allowing you to free up more space

Remove a Downloaded File Step 10

Step 4. If you cannot find the file, open your browser's download manager

If you recently downloaded the file, it might still be in your web browser's download manager. This will allow you to directly open a window to the file you want to delete.

  • With Chrome, press Cmd + J. Click the Show folder link of the file you want to delete.
  • With Firefox, press Cmd + J to open the Downloads section of the Library. Click the folder icon to the right of the file name to open the location of the downloaded file.
  • With Safari, click on the Window menu and select Downloads. Click on the magnifying glass that is next to the file you want to delete.
Remove a Downloaded File Step 11

Step 5. Drag the file to your Trash

You also have the option to select the file and press Delete or right click on the file and select Delete.

If your file cannot be deleted, it is because it is in use by another program. This situation is more common with file sharing programs because someone might be downloading the file from your computer. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again

Repair

Remove a Downloaded File Step 12

Step 1. I want to delete all downloaded folders

OS X keeps a history of all the files you have downloaded. If you are concerned about the security of your system and prying eyes, you can manually empty this log file through the terminal.

  • Open Terminal in your Utilities folder and write the following (all on one line):

  • sqlite3 ~ / Library / Preferences / com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV * 'delete from LSQuarantineEvent'

    then press Return.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 13

Step 2. I cannot delete the file

If OS X won't let you delete the file, it's probably because it's in use by another program. This is typically the case if you downloaded the file with BitTorrent and continued to share it, or you have already opened it in another program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again

Click here if you are still having trouble deleting the file

Method 3 of 4: Android

Remove a Downloaded File Step 14

Step 1. Download and install a file manager application

There is a plethora of free file manager apps available for Android devices. You can download these from the Google Play Store. Your device may have a file manager already installed. The most famous applications are:

  • ES File Explorer
  • Astro File Manager
  • X-plore File Manager
Remove a Downloaded File Step 15

Step 2. Explore your Downloads folder

When you open your file manager app, you will see a list of all the folders on your phone. Look for the folder named Downloads / Download. You could open a file before you see it.

Note that downloaded images may end up in your Pictures folder and downloaded videos may end up in your Videos folder

Remove a Downloaded File Step 16

Step 3. Press and hold the file you want to delete

The process varies depending on the file manager, but generally you can tap and hold the file and then tap Delete on the menu that appears. You could also select multiple files and hit a delete button.

Repair

Remove a Downloaded File Step 17

Step 1. My file manager is not working

If you preferred to manage your downloaded files using your computer, you can connect your Android device via USB cable. This will allow you to open your Android device as a USB drive and manage files. Click here for more details.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 18

Step 2. I cannot find the files I downloaded

Almost all downloaded files should end up in the Downloads folder, but some apps may put them in other locations. Once your device is connected to your computer, you can more easily search for the file, which would help you locate it.

Method 4 of 4: iOS

Remove a Downloaded File Step 19

Step 1. Open the application that manages the file you want to delete

IOS devices do not give you access to any Downloads location on your device. Rather, files are deleted from the applications that open them. Which means if you want to delete a PDF, you can do it through iBook or Adobe Reader. If you want to delete a song, you can do it in the Music app.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 20

Step 2. Swipe the item to see the Delete button

The process will actually vary depending on the application you are using, but generally you can swipe the file to bring up the Delete button.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 21

Step 3. Press and hold an item to select multiple files at once

After selecting all the files you want to delete, press the Delete button.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 22

Step 4. Use iTunes to delete the music that your device does not allow you to delete

You might have difficulty deleting a downloaded song, especially if you sync it with iTunes. Click here for more details on how to delete music.

Remove a Downloaded File Step 23

Step 5. Use your computer to delete multiple photos at once

If you have multiple images that you want to get rid of, the fastest way to do that is to connect your iOS device to your computer and use your operating system's image manager. Click here for more details.

Repair

Remove a Downloaded File Step 24

Step 1. I cannot find the file I want to delete

IOS devices have a very different file system from most other devices and it can make it difficult to find and delete specific files. You will need to use an application that can open the type of file you want to delete in order to access and delete the file.

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