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Downloaded files are not showing up on Android? Top 3 fixes

cant access downloads android

Downloading files on your device via a browser or certain third-party apps should be as simple as downloading apps from Play Store. However, some users say that downloaded files are not showing up on Android. Others are having a hard time with newly installed apps that are not showing on the home screen. We have a solution for both of you. Check the solutions below.

Why are my downloads not showing up

1. Check Chrome settings if Downloaded files are not showing up on Android

If your issue is with the files you downloaded with a browser and you are unable to locate them, check the settings within the browser. Chances are that your default folder is changed from Downloads to something else.

Here’s how to check related settings in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.
  3. Choose Downloads.
  4. Tap Download location and select the path. Or you can enable the Ask where to save files option. Have in mind that this won’t be accessible on Android 11 which locks app data access. All files will go to the Downloads folder solely.Downloaded files are not showing up on Android

You can find your files, downloaded by Chrome, by using any File Manager. In case the Downloads folder is missing, Chrome automatically saves data in the /storage/Android/data folder. You just need to find the Chrome folder in there and all previously downloaded files should be inside.

2. Allow the launcher to add downloaded apps

On the other hand, if you are not seeing newly-installed apps on your home screen, the launcher is the one to blame. There’s an option that allows or disables adding icons to the home screen. So, basically, what you need to do is toggle the option to allow your launcher to add new icons.

Follow these steps in order to allow adding newly-installed icons on your home screen:

  1. Tap & hold on to your home screen until the pop-up appears.
  2. Select Settings (or Home settings).
  3. Enable the Add app icons to the Home screen option.Downloaded files are not showing up on Android

This applies to all third-party launchers, as well.

3. Clear the cache from the default launcher

Now, if icons are still not displaying on your home screen after you enabled the option, make sure to clear the cache from the default launcher. After that, the issue should be gone.

Follow these steps to clear the cache from the default system launcher:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps & notifications.
  3. Open All apps.
  4. Tap on the 3-dot menu and choose to Show system processes.
  5. Locate and open the default launcher.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Clear cache and data.Downloaded files are not showing up on Android
  8. Reboot your device.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in December 2020. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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