I am on iTunes on OS X El Capitan 10.11.3. I would like to know where (by default) downloads are written (I am downloading many iTunes U lectures in sequence).

Window > Activity shows me active downloads which I can pause and cancel, but that isn't exactly what I need. I can also click the tiny arrow at the top right of the iTunes navbar that shows up when you are downloading something, but it just gives me the same tools as Window > Activity.

2 Answers 2


Two other easy options to find where an iTunes file is downloaded:

(1.) Locate the file in your libary, right-click it, select "Get Info" and go to the "File" tab to see the full path.

(2.) Locate the file in your libary, right-click it, select "Show in Finder" if, for example, you want to play the media in a different application.

  • These are also good options, but only work when the download is complete, no? Oct 9, 2016 at 7:29
  • 1
    Not sure. If it's a tiny 1GB lecture, and the download is taking a while, I'd suggest upgrading your internet. (Assuming you don't live in Australia.) Oct 9, 2016 at 7:33

I believe the answer, in a default configuration, is found within iTunes Preferences:

  • With iTunes open, enter Preferences (Command , )
  • Advanced Tab.
  • Note the "iTunes Media Folder Location". It defaults to /Users/myusername/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media

  • Within that folder is a Downloads folder, which holds an iTunes U folder, which is where my files were stored (.m4v formatted)

TL;DR: Your default download location is /Users/yourusername/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Downloads

  • 1
    Media should be sorted into folders by type in the iTunes Media directory, not Downloads. Downloads is a temporary directory used while files are in the process of actually being downloaded. Also note that the default iTunes Media Folder Location is the directory above the iTunes Media folder. By default, that is ~/Music/iTunes.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 8, 2016 at 17:30

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