How to Delete Downloads on Mac to Clear Storage Space (macOS Monterey Update)

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Many users don't know how to delete files buried in the Mac Downloads folder, and this can sometimes slow down a computer’s performance. Though these files are out of sight and out of mind, they do still take up important storage space! We’ll show you how to delete downloads on Mac.

Related: How to Retrieve Deleted Text Messages on iPhone

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Why You’ll Love This Tip

  • Free up space on your hard drive.
  • Possibly speed up your computer’s performance.
  • Get rid of confusing clutter in your Downloads folder.

How to Delete Downloads on Mac

The simplest way to clear downloads on Mac is through Finder. While there are many methods to delete downloads on Mac, the steps below are the simplest. To get more tips for your Mac and other Apple devices, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. Open the Finder app.

    Open Finder
  2. Click on Downloads in the menu to the left. This will open a list of all downloads.

    Click on Downloads
  3. Select the file or files you want to delete. If you want to delete all files in the Downloads folder, use the keyboard shortcut command + A to select all files in the folder at once.

    Select files to delete
  4. Right-click a selected file and select Move to Trash.

    Move to Trash
  5. Alternatively, you can click and drag the selected files to the trash can in the dock.

The files will now be gone from your Downloads folder, but to permanently delete the files you will need to empty Trash on your Mac. Do be careful, as files deleted this way cannot be recovered.

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Author Details

Devala Rees's picture

Author Details

Devala Rees

Devala Rees has been a writer since the age of eleven, and a loyal user of Apple products for even longer. His writing background is quite eclectic, from freelance professional articles to Hindu religious scholarship to fantasy novels. Much of his writing on various topics can be found on