How to manage downloads in Chrome for Android

When you check out the Chrome browser on Android, you may notice that it offers no option to manage downloads.

The download listing that is part of the desktop version of Chrome is missing, and the internal URL chrome://downloads does not working either.

When you check the menu, you will notice quickly that there is no download link either, and that the history is limited to the browsing history.

This can be quite irritating, especially if you have just downloaded a file from a network server or the Internet, or are downloading a file currently that you want to manage.

Chrome for Android downloads

Chrome displays a download dialog when you tap on files in the mobile browser, and notifies you that the download has been added to the queue when you select the option to start the download.

chrome android downloads

But there is no confirmation message that a download completed successfully, nor any indication on how to manage current downloads.

The answer is pretty simple however: Chrome uses Android downloads for downloading files in Chrome. Think of it as an external app that the browser makes use of.

If you bring down the notifications area of the device, you will see the downloads listed there as a single entry.

A tap on a single download listed there launches the file. What happens depends on the file. You get a prompt if the file is an apk or executable file for instance. Most files, media for instance, is opened in the default viewer application or a prompt is displayed what to do with that file type.

The Downloads app

If the notification lists more than one download, the Downloads app is opened instead. Design and layout of the app depends largely on the manufacturer of the device.

Read also:  Disable the Chrome Downloads Bar

The download app on my Xiaomi Mi4c device for instance separates files that are downloading from complete files.

download manager android

You may pause or resume files that are in the download queue there for instance. or list all files previously downloaded to the device.

There you may also clear the list of downloads which just removes the reference to the download but not the actual file which remains on the device.

You may use the file manager of the device instead to access all files downloaded to it.  How that is done depends again on the device, but you should have access to a file browser (called Explorer or just Files).

Use it to open the downloads folder on the device which lists all downloaded files that have not been deleted yet.


Other browsers

Some browsers handle downloads internally. This is the case for the Firefox browser for instance which displays downloads when you load about:downloads, or select Menu > Tools > Downloads.

Opera too is listing downloads directly within the web browser.

Closing Words

One question that should come up is why Google does not list downloads in the browser itself. It could be a combination of downloads not being overly popular on mobile devices and keeping Chrome as clean and tidy as possible interface wise.

Anyway, if you download on Android using Chrome for the first time, you know where to look now.

Article Name
How to manage downloads in Chrome for Android
Find out how to manage files that you download from a network or the Internet on your Android device using the Google Chrome web browser.
Ghacks Technology News

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Responses to How to manage downloads in Chrome for Android

  1. Yuliya June 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    That's nice. The download manager. It's more than what Nexus devices have:
    imgur com/UGIoE3U

    That's it, sort and remove options, also tap to open. And share after you select a file or more. Not even search, let alone pause download, etc. I'd appreciate if it had a clear list button, but it doesn't. And if you don't move the file from Downloads folder it also deletes it when you remove the entry from downloads manager. The way I discovered this was a bit infuriating as I had to redownload some files.. Also no select all button, I have to tap on each file, all 100 of them if needed, to select then remove them.

    Google should reconsider their priorities..

  2. Pratyush August 16, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you so much buddy....
    I forgot that I could control chrome downloads using my Default downloads app.
    Finally I could stop a large file from downloading on my mobile data.
    Anyways Thanks again!! :)

  3. Joe B. September 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    Thank you! I came here from a Google search after wondering if I was somehow going blind and missing the downloads options. I guess I'm just accustomed to Firefox and Opera Mini on Android, and desktop Chrome and Firefox that have a Downloads list built-in.

  4. suni November 9, 2016 at 6:27 am #

    i used to control from here but from last miui update im unable to see downloading tasks here.

  5. Anonymous March 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

    What if I DONT want downloads filename liseted in the CHROME browser at all?

  6. jobo March 19, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    What if I DONT want downloaded filenames listed in the ANDROID CHROME browser at all?

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