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How to find downloaded files on your Android smartphone

Your smartphone is packed with downloads. Not only apps and software, but also the photos, files, videos, and other media you download over the course of your daily smartphone routine. However, while we often download media onto our mobiles without even being aware of it, it takes conscious effort to actually find where on our phones downloads are located.

This guide explains exactly how to find downloaded files on your Android smartphone.

For Samsung Phones

Go to Samsung (or Apps) > My Files. From My Files, you can tap different folders, such as Recent Files, Images, Documents or Downloads. Most likely, what you’re looking for will be in the Downloads folder, but it’s always worth looking in other folders if you can’t find what you want in Downloads. You can also use the Search bar to locate a specific download.

For Google Pixel Phones

To find a download on a Google Pixel, open the Files app. In Files, you can then tap different folders, such as Downloads. You can also sort through and filter your downloads by tapping the Menu icon (resembling three horizontal bars) and then More (which resembles three vertical dots).

In online forums, a small minority of Google Pixel owners have reported not being able to find downloaded photos or files in the Files app. Usually, this is the result of a permissions problem stemming from using the Google app to downloaded images. To solve it, go to Settings > Apps > Google > Permissions. Next, make sure Storage permission is switched on. If it isn’t, downloaded files will continue to be sent to a separate system directory.

On Other Android Devices

Finding downloads on other Android phones follows pretty much the same workflow as finding them on Google Pixel or Samsung phones. However, depending on the models and manufacturers involved, the app name may differ.

Generally, you have to do the following. First, open the Apps drawer. Next, you have to open your phone’s file manager, which will have a name like My Files, Files, Downloads, or File Manager.

That’s the pivotal part of the whole process. But once in My Files, File Manager or whatever else it might be called, you should then tap the Downloads folder. In some cases, you may have to tap Internal Storage before coming to this point. If the file you’re looking for isn’t in Downloads, try another folder, or try using the Search bar.

Of course, you can find and manage your downloaded files simply and quickly using your PC with software such as Android Phone Manager.