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When you open finder, there is a download folder with a unique icon. I'd like to move that folder to an external one and force the system to recognise that new location.

  • There's no global setting for the Downloads folder. Each app that saves to it does so because the app's preferences are set to it and can be changed to any location within the app's preferences. – user3439894 Oct 6 '17 at 2:38
  • @user3439894 But any normal folder would not have the down arrow icon. – Render Oct 6 '17 at 7:54
  • I have a downloads folder on most of my external drives and they have the same icon as the Downloads folder in my Home folder because I assigned that same icon to them. You can do the same, this has been covered on the Internet enough you shouldn't have any problems finding directions. Then put an alias to the external Downloads folder into the Downloads Folder in your Home folder. Set the download location in your Browser(s) to the external location if you want. Personally I don't because my external drives are not always connected. – user3439894 Oct 6 '17 at 11:33
  • As to the icons in the Sidebar of Finder, even if you changed a generic to a custom one, the info will be short-lived because, it's overwritten when Finder updates is settings, which is done often. IIRC it was with Mac OS X Lion that Apple essentially said the User is no longer allowed to mess with Finders appearance beyond what we program it to be. I'd talk to Apple about it, but I do not believe Apple is going to change from the direction they gone! They don't want Users messing around with the core elements of the UI, beyond how they define them to be – user3439894 Oct 6 '17 at 11:34
  • @user3439894 Can I link the current downloads folder to the one in external? In this way i can retain the icon as well as functionality. – Render Oct 6 '17 at 11:59
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Your question doesn't specify whether you're just interested in changing the default Downloads folder location for your web browsers, but since web browsers are the most common way that users download files from the internet, below are instructions on changing this location within Safari, Firefox and Chrome.

Safari

For Safari:

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences (or just press command,)
  2. Make sure you have the General icon (top left) selected
  3. Find the File download location drop-down menu and select Other... from your list of choices
  4. Navigate to and select your preferred Downloads folder location
  5. Exit Preferences

Firefox

Very similar to Safari, in Firefox:

  1. Go to Firefox > Preferences (or just press command,)
  2. Make sure you have the General icon (top left) selected
  3. Under the Downloads heading you'll see a radio button labelled as Save files to with a field next to it. Click on the Choose... button
  4. Navigate to and select your preferred Downloads folder location
  5. Exit Preferences

Chrome

Finally to Chrome:

  1. Go to Chrome > Preferences (or just press command,)
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the window and click on Advanced
  3. Now scroll down further until you see the Downloads heading
  4. Click on Change
  5. Navigate to and select your preferred Downloads folder location
  6. Exit Preferences

NOTE:

Similarly, others browsers and 3rd party downloaders also provide a setting in their preferences from which you can choose your Downloads folder location.

  • How can I change the icon in Finder to the down arrow as well? – Render Oct 6 '17 at 7:54
  • Within the Finder follow these 4 steps: (1) Select the macOS default Download folder and go to File > Get Info. (2) At top left of the Info window, click the icon and then go to Edit > Copy. (3) Select the other folder you've set up to be your Downloads folder and then go to File > Get Info. (4) Click the icon at top left and then go to Edit > Paste. – Monomeeth Oct 6 '17 at 9:50

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