How to switch Google Chrome's download toolbar to notifications

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 31, 2015
Google Chrome

Whenever you download a file in Google Chrome, a toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the screen listing the file.

The toolbar displays download speed and progress, and remains visible after the download finishes. You may use it to open the file right away, which you do with a double-click, or to open the folder it was saved to using the default file browser on the system.

This bar takes up space in the browser window until you hide it again which you need to do actively. While you could use extensions to change the download notification system of Chrome in the past, you could not really modify the default system in place.

This changed recently when Google introduced a flag to Chrome which lets you do that. The new notification system, once enabled, displays notifications in a window that is separate from the browser UI.

chrome new download notifications

You may still click on it to execute the file right away or use the show in folder option to open its location on the system.

During the transfer, you may pause or cancel it just like you could do before, and the "show all downloads" option is also still available if you download more than one file at a time.

downloaded files

The feature is experimental at this point in time which means that it is subject to change. While it is likely that Google will change the old download system in Chrome to the new one in the future, it is not a done deal yet.

To enable the new download status do the following:

  1. Open chrome://flags/#enable-download-notification in the browser. You need to copy and paste the url as Chrome won't load it when you click on it.
  2. Switch the flag to enabled.
  3. Restart the browser afterwards.

chrome download status

This works in all supported operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac and Chrome OS), and should be available in all versions of Chrome and Chromium as well.

To undo the change, repeat the steps outlined above but set the flag to disabled instead. (via Caschy)

How to switch Google Chrome's download toolbar to notifications
Article Name
How to switch Google Chrome's download toolbar to notifications
Find out how to disable the download toolbar in Google Chrome and enable notification-based download information instead.

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  1. Michael Hetharia said on August 10, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Please add an option to automatically hide / clear completed downloads.

  2. Dwight Stegall said on August 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    In Chrome Stable for Windows it says Chrome OS only. But it’s in Canary for Windows.

  3. TheAslan said on August 1, 2015 at 4:57 am

    I do wish that they could add a flag which would automatically clear finished downloads.

  4. not_black said on July 31, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Nice! Thanks.

  5. Bobby Phoenix said on July 31, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Finally a native way to remove that huge bar. I’ve been using Downloads for years now, but it’s nice to see Chome doing something finally.

  6. JonMc said on July 31, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Still shows up on Chrome in the “Unavailable Experiments” section and is not available [Sorry, this experiment is not available on your platform] Version 44.0.2403.125 m — Windows 10.

    1. Azrahel said on August 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Work on Chrome Beta (Version 45.0.2454.15 beta-m (64-bit))

    2. not_black said on July 31, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      Unavailable for me too on the same version and Win 7.

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