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Originally, Google Chrome displayed active and completed downloads at the bottom of your screen. But from August 2023, Google is switching the downloads bar for a user-friendly downloads tray.

While many may be satisfied with the new downloads placement, others may want to stick with what they know and don’t feel the change is necessary. What will the new Chrome downloads UI look like? And will this make managing your downloads easier or become an inconvenience?

What Is Google Doing With the Download Bar?

Google announced that it was revamping the downloads bar via the Chromium Blog in August 2023. In the announcement, the brand acknowledged that Chrome's download bar did have drawbacks, including taking up space, not going away automatically, and offering limited actions.

An image of the Chrome downloads pop-up tray opened with three recent downloads
Image Credit: Chromium Blog

Instead of downloads appearing at the bottom, it will move to the right of the address bar as a download tray, a similar approach to other browsers. The download tray appears next to the address bar, providing a clear line of separation between the UI and the web content.

What Will the Downloads Redesign Offer Users?

When you download a file or folder, the download icon will appear next to the address bar. Once the download is complete, the tray will open to notify you. Though, you have the option to choose whether the tray opens automatically or not in Chrome's settings.

In addition, you can open the download tray in any tab, not just the one used for the download. On top of this, you can view all downloads from the past 24 hours in the pop-up tray, including the options of opening, retrying, and pausing/resuming downloads.

Additionally, you can see a more in-depth view of your downloads by selecting Show all downloads, which will open a new tab with your downloads.

An image of the Chrome downloads pop-up warning that a dangerous download was blocked
Image Credit: Chromium Blog

Furthermore, Google Chrome will continue to display warning signs of potential viruses, such as notifying you that a dangerous download was blocked, the same way Google’s refreshed padlock icon identifies if websites are secure.

The flexible UI allows Chrome to provide more context for your download to protect you from potentially dangerous viruses and enables them to build advanced scan options.

How You Can Keep Using the Old Chrome Download Bar Design

If you are a user who prefers to use the download bar, there is a workaround. Type or paste chrome://flags/#download-bubble into the address bar and press Enter.

A screenshot of the Chrome Flags page with the dropdown menu opened for Enable Download Bubble and the cursor hovered over Disabled

Chrome Flags will open in a new tab with Enable download bubble highlighted in yellow. Click on the dropdown menu and click Disabled. On the bottom right of the screen, click Relaunch for the changes to take effect.

If you are a writer or developer, this could mean updating guides or images that refer to the old download design. For extension developers, it may be the case of updating extensions.

Chrome Introduces a Refreshed Download Experience

It may take some time to adapt to the new download placement, including the possibility of downloading the same file/folder multiple times because you forgot about the download tray. Though, Google states that users will find it simpler and faster to keep track of downloads.

The Chrome download tray is rolling out and will be available to all users soon, so ensure that you update your Chrome browser to the latest version. While you wait, you should make sure that your downloads are as fast as possible.