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Google Chrome not downloading files on Android (FIX)

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Although many users are vocal about preferring alternatives to Chrome, the majority of worldwide users use it on a daily basis. That’s the thing with Android and Google — once you get used to a couple of Google apps and services, it’s simpler to keep on using them than to make a change. Unless there’s a major issue that makes you ditch Chrome for good. The problem we’ll try and fix today concerns downloading files on Chrome. Namely, some users report that Google Chrome is not downloading files on Android.

If you are among the affected users, make sure to check the steps we listed below.

Why are my downloads failing on Chrome?

This appears to be an in-app bug most of the time. The easiest way to address it is to either clear all local data or reinstall the app (uninstall updates). Checking Storage permission is a good idea, too.

Of course, first, scroll to the bottom of the page while in Chrome as there might be a prompt concerning download and you can’t see it.

1. Scroll to the bottom to see the download bar

There’s a small design flaw in Google Chrome that will make you believe that downloads are not starting. Due to the positioning of the download bar at the bottom, you’ll often need to scroll down to see it. So maybe you started downloading one file multiple times because the bar was missing and had no idea that the file is, in fact, downloading.

So, once you tap on the download link, swipe down until you see the download bar with the Show Details tab. From there, you can confirm the download. To check if the file is downloaded, open any File Manager and then open the Downloads folder.

In addition, open Chrome, tap on the 3-dot menu, and open Settings. Now, from the bottom, open Downloads. Toggle the “Ask when to save files” option.

However, if you are positive that the download is not working on Chrome, not starting, or not saving downloaded files, check the next step.

2. Check Chrome permissions

Google Chrome requires Storage permission in order to store files on your device. In addition, if you are using an SD card to store files, make sure that Chrome has permission to access it.

Here’s how to grant permissions to Chrome in case you missed them the first time:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Expand All apps or open App Manager (Manage apps).
  4. Open Google Chrome from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap Permissions.
  6. Make sure that Google Chrome has permission to access Storage. You can also grant all other permissions, just for the sake of troubleshooting.

If you still have issues with Google Chrome on Android, make sure that you have enough storage space.

3. Check Storage space

The next thing you should check out is the storage space. If you are on the low side with storage space, make sure to delete some files. Just don’t forget to back them up, either to a cloud drive (Google Drive, Google Photos, etc.) or your PC. Alternatively, you can move them to the SD card, if your device supports it.

On the other hand, if you are certain that there’s enough space for the file you want to download, continue to the next step.

4. Clear local data and cache

There are a couple of beta and alpha versions of Chrome for a reason. The app has so many users around the world that expect good performance from their go-to browser. That’s why Google can’t play around with the stable version. However, despite their best efforts, Chrome still tends to misbehave from time to time.

And, when that happens, the first thing to try is clearing app data from the local storage. Here’s how to clear data from Google Chrome on Android:

  1. Again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Chrome.
  2. Open Storage.
  3. Tap Manage storage.
  4. Tap Clear All chrome not downloading files android
  5. Confirm when prompted.
  6. Restart your Android, open Chrome, and try downloading files again.

5. Uninstall Chrome updates

If the previous step failed, you can try and reinstall Chrome. Of course, since the app is usually the default browser and it comes preinstalled, you can only uninstall updates from Chrome. Still, this is always recommended whenever the app starts indicating certain issues. In this case, we would also suggest uninstalling updates and updating Android System WebView, too.

Here’s how to uninstall Chrome updates on your Android:

  1. Once again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Chrome.
  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Uninstall chrome not downloading files android
  3. Do the same with Android System WebView.
  4. Restart your device, re-update both Google Chrome and Android WebView, and look for improvements.

In case downloads are still not working on Chrome, we can only suggest switching to an alternative mobile browser. At least, until Google sorts out what seems to be a major bug. Of course, you can play your part in that by reporting the problem.

6. Try an alternative browser

As we said, try downloading the files you need with an alternative browser. Most OEMs offer a built-in alternative like Samsung Internet or Mi Browser. If you are not satisfied with built-in solutions, you can always try third-party apps like Firefox, DuckDuckGo, Opera, or Vivaldi. If Google Chrome is not downloading files on Android, a different browser definitely should.

Just navigate to Play Store, get yourself a browser, and download the files. And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and please take some time to tell us if the abovementioned steps helped you address the problem. Also, pitch us some alternative solutions we missed so we can share them with other readers. You can share your feedback in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in October 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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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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