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 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.
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.
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.
The download app on my Xiaomi Mi4c device for instance separates files that are downloading from complete files.
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.
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.
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.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.