Move Downloads folder

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by iaminlondon, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. iaminlondon macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2011
    #1
    Does anyone know how I can move the download folder in Mac OS X Lion? I have two hard drives and I would like to move it to the second one. I have already updated the settings in the browsers, but I was after the dock icon, so that it behaves exactly as it does now but points to this new location.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4S: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I think you should be able to go into Finder, drag the folder to the new HDD and then remove the folder from the Dock and re-add it from its new location.
     
  3. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #3
    Exactly this. All my downloads are on an External HDD (due to the SSD in my iMac) Works great like that.
     
  4. iaminlondon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I've tried this. It didn't allow me to move it but I got to copy it. After the copying was done I tried to delete it but it told me that it couldn't delete that folder. That it was needed by the OS. I guess somewhere there is a setting pointing to this folder. I would like to edit it so that it points to the folder in the other hard drive. This would ensure that other software I might install in the future will default to the other hdd.

    Thanks.
     
  5. iaminlondon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Also, if it can be changed at the system level, the icon of the Downloads folder that I have now in a different HDD will display the icon on the Finder's sidebar that was being used for the original folder. The latter it's not happening at the moment.
     
  6. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #6
    Copy the download folder as it is now to the second hard drive.

    Delete the current contents of the download folder, and then drag the folder from the dock.

    Drag the downloads folder from the second drive to the dock to create the dock 'shortcut'.

    Screen Shot 2011-11-06 at 17.31.26.png

    I have also down the same with the documents folder. Apps and the OS are all that I have on the primary SSD drive.

    There is probably a terminal hack to alter it for all apps, but I don not know of one off the top of my head. You will just need to remember to update the download location of apps to the new location.

    As to the sidebar, Im sure you can just drag the folder into the location you want on the sidebar of a finder window.
     
  7. iaminlondon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2011
    #7
    Thanks again. That's all been done and it works. Just like in your screenshot. Leaving it here, though it would be nice to have that last bit for completeness (i.e. not having to remember changing settings for new apps) and to get the right icon in the finder. In the screenshot below, the highlighted folder on the left pane of the finder is the one all applications are using now and the one with the icon is the old one, which I now hide. But the new one doesn't get that icon.

    Screen Shot 2011-11-06 at 18.02.26.png
     
  8. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #8
    I think your OS X OCD may have to live with that one Im afraid.

    However if you really wanted to use the same icon you could set up an alias within the 'old' downloads folder to the 'new' Downloads folder. That way you could remove the 'new' downloads folder from the sidebar and just have the old. Then when you click on the link it takes you to the 'new' downloads folder.
     
  9. iaminlondon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    LOL! ;) I'll be fine. And if my OCD gets any worst I'll give your last suggestion a try. But seriously, thanks again!

    Cheers.
     
  10. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

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    #10
    Old thread, but it ranks well in Google for a related search and it is missing one bit of advice for moving the Downloads folder: using a symbolic link. This way, even if something does write to the old Downloads folder location, it winds up where you want it anyway.

    Clickity Click
     
  11. stridemat, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #11
    I had this implemented a while ago now, and works great. I should have posted here when I found out about it.

    Just in case that website is ever deleted. Go to terminal and type the following:
    Code:
    Matts-iMac:~ mattstride$ sudo rm -rf ~/Downloads/
    Password:
    Matts-iMac:~ mattstride$ ln -s /Volumes/Files/Downloads/ ~/Downloads
    
     
  12. mwhities macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    This just helped me out as well. I just bought a 64G SSD and installed it. A day later, bought the Data Doubler with a 750G HD SATA and added it. My Downloads folder was filling up my SSD drive.

    Thanks for posting.

    (EDIT)

    Added screenshot.

    It's an early 2009 Mac Mini.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. nordicappeal macrumors regular

    nordicappeal

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  14. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #14
    Your way is fine, but does ignore that not everything you download comes through an Internet browser. The terminal way above forces the mac to look in the new location within all program's.
     
  15. nordicappeal macrumors regular

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    #15
    You are right and this is most likely a better way: http://martinbay.net/how-to-move-user-folder/
     
  16. vmz macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #16
    The only downfall of using symlinks is that we can`t have the same icons on folders as before... Or there is some way to set them?
     
  17. akb macrumors member

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    UK
    #17
    Just to add another little tip... it won't mean a lot to those who are fine with Unix, but it had me stumped for a little while.

    If the disk you want to link to has a space in its name (like the default Macintosh HD does), you need to put it in quotes when you're typing the path. i.e.:

    Code:
    ln -s /Volumes/"Macintosh HD"/Allen/Documents/ ~/Documents
     
  18. richnyc macrumors regular

    richnyc

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    #18
    Wonder if anyone knows answer to this???
     
  19. nordicappeal macrumors regular

    nordicappeal

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    #19
  20. Davemreed macrumors newbie

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    #20
    How to implement Mr.Stridemat's code

    This is my favorite response to this thread, but I wonder if everyone reading this is able to implement it.
    In the hopes of helping those less versed in command line interface.

      • Open Applications folder, and then the Utilities folders within, then launch Terminal.
      • You will now see a Terminal window with something like the what you see in the code above, i.e. "MyMacbok: ~username$ " and a blinking cursor.
      • Type sudo rm -rf ~/Downloads/
      • You will prompted by a password, preceded by a warning about being careful.
      • If you entered the password correctly, you will find yourself looking at a new prompt (there is no feedback unless you don't enter the correct password).
      • Now, in the Terminal Window, type ln -s (with a space following the 's').
      • Now, open a Finder window and go to the location where you want the new Downloads destination will be.
      • Drag the new Downloads folders into the Terminal window. The path to the new destination will auto fill. Hit the return key to issue the command.
      • The new Downloads default folder has now been successfully changed.


      As others have mentioned, there are a number of scenarios where this can prove useful. Most users tend to download a torrent of data but rarely go through their downloads folder either to relocate or delete those files. This makes for a huge downloads folder. Thus, changing the default Downloads destination either to an external drive or a secondary (and usually larger) internal hard drive is optimal.

      Hope this helps. (And my thanks to Stridmat for the CLI code!)
     
  21. Casteiron, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013

    Casteiron macrumors newbie

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    Nov 24, 2012
    #21


    1. This is awesome and exactly what I was looking for but I prematurely did it before reading how to change the icon. Is there a way to undo this real quick so I can get the Downloads folder icon as per http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2493?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US ?

      Thanks!

      EDIT 2: On second thought, yes, how do I reverse this?

      EDIT: Never mind! I found them in /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources then just dragged them to the folder icon in the info pop up.
     
  22. vjpulp macrumors member

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    Dec 17, 2007
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    Bern, Switzerland
    #22
    I tried this out, but after entering my password, I got the message
    Code:
    "username" is not in the sudoers file.  This incident will be reported. 
    (while "username" was my actual username, of course.)
    is that the right message? sounds kinda scary... I didn't dare to proceed after that...
    Working on Mavericks - has the code changed maybe?
     
  23. EugeneH macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2015
    #23
    Move Directories from Primary OS drive to secondary Drive

    No terminal access commands needed!

    Just simply hold the COMMAND key and drag the folder to the directory that you want it to be in via finder. Open two windows in finder one where the folder is at in your User folder and then another to where you want it to be moved to.

    I just did this on my macbook pro 2011 after installing a Intel 530 SSD 240GB and adding a 2nd HDD Caddy in place of the Optical Disc Drive. Its very easy to do. My current OS is Yosemite.

    Please Pin this answer to the question on the thread if possible.
     
  24. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    Far from here
    #24
    Did you really try this with the Downloads folder ?

    Please try and report back.
     
  25. EugeneH, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015

    EugeneH macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2015
    #25
    Works with Downloads Folder in OS X - Yosemite

    Yes I moved Downloads Folder; Documents Folder; Movies Folder; Music Folder; and Pictures Folder.

    Very easy. It changes the default directory to the new drive even in finder side bar. The only thing you have to do is change the destination for your databases like iPhoto and iTunes...etc

    Some parts of OS X may recreate these folders in your home directory, but they shouldn't get used once you move them to the other drive. I have noticed that after opening a few programs they got recreated by the OS.

    Update: The Desktop Folder CANNOT be moved to a different location. I have tried it repeatedly.
     

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