Make Chrome’s Download Manager Use Less Space in the Browser Window

If you’re bugged by the amount of real estate that Chrome’s default download manager takes up on your screen, here’s an alternative approach …

Whenever you download a file using the Google Chrome web browser, it is displayed in a bar at the bottom of the browser window. This bar remains open until you close it, and while reappear with every new download that you make. While some may like how Chrome handles downloads, others may prefer a solution that requires less interaction and takes up less screen estate. One option that you have is to run a download manager which taps into Chrome directly, so that all downloads are automatically bypassing Chrome’s internal download manager.

If you do not want to install a download manager, your next best bet is the Downloadr extension for Google Chrome.

It gets rid of the fat download bar at the bottom of the screen, and moves all downloads behind a single icon that it places in Chrome’s main toolbar.

Actually, this is very similar to how downloads are handled in the Firefox web browser nowadays.

The download icon changes colors indicating whether downloads are currently processed or completed. When you click on the icon, you see a list of all downloads that you made in the browser.

chrome download manager

All downloads are displayed in chronological order, with downloads that are still running displayed at the very top.

Each download is listed with its file name and size, and an option to show it in the folder it was downloaded to.

You can cancel any running download, and check up on the progress made so far. Here you see the current download speed, the total and downloaded size of the file, and the remaining time if the download speed does not change.

There is also a button to clear all downloads, and a double-click on any file here opens it by the default file handler on the system.

There is one downside to this though. Chrome displays a warning when you download certain file types, .exe files for example. That warning is also displayed in the new interface. But, you only see it if you click on the download link.

Depending on how many downloads you have made here in the meantime, you may have to click multiple times on the keep the download action as it is displayed here individually for each download.

It is not such a big issue, but an option to disable the warning altogether would come in quite handy for users who download lots of files that cause the notification to appear. That’s however likely a Chrome setting that extensions cannot tamper with in any way.


Downloadr moves the Chrome download bar from the bottom of the browser screen behind a single icon in the top toolbar of the browser. This saves you from having to click on the x icon of the download bar each time you do not need it anymore.

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