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Drag-and-Drop Downloads in Google Chrome

By December 6, 2010 January 3rd, 2011 Tips & Tricks

Here’s a tip for all Google Chrome users out there. By now, you’ve probably all seen how Chrome treats downloads differently than other browsers. As soon as you download a file, a bar will appear at the bottom of that particular tab, allowing easy access to the file. In doing so, it also saves space by only showing what is immediately relevant for each individual tab.

Google Chrome makes a bar appear at the bottom of a tab, whenever a file has been downloaded.

You can use controls in that bar to locate the file in Windows, or even view your full list of downloads. I’ve personally always used the “Show in folder” option, as this brings me exactly to the file, allowing me to move it elsewhere. Usually, I end up moving it to my desktop, as I like having the files right in front of me, allowing for easy disposal whenever necessary.

After using that approach for long time, I found an easier way. It seems that Chrome actually lets you drag any file from the bottom bar to your desktop, or anywhere else for that matter. It will automatically copy the file to where you drop it. I find this particularly useful when I just want to copy to the desktop, as it is usually always visible when I’m browsing.

Once I figured that out, I started to play around with drag-and-drop in general. In most cases, dragging something from a webpage to your desktop will simply create a shortcut, which isn’t particularly useful. Thankfully, I found one main exception to this: when you drag an image from a webpage into Windows, Chrome actually downloads the image, and places it wherever you dropped it. This is a feature I seem to recall Opera having many years ago, and I eventually forgot about it when I switched to another browser. I’m pleased to see it in Chrome, and will likely figure out more drag-and-drop exploits as I experiment.