How to switch Google Chrome’s download toolbar to notifications

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Whenever you download a file in Google Chrome, a toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the screen listing the file.

The toolbar displays download speed and progress, and remains visible after the download finishes. You may use it to open the file right away, which you do with a double-click, or to open the folder it was saved to using the default file browser on the system.

This bar takes up space in the browser window until you hide it again which you need to do actively. While you could use extensions to change the download notification system of Chrome in the past, you could not really modify the default system in place.

This changed recently when Google introduced a flag to Chrome which lets you do that. The new notification system, once enabled, displays notifications in a window that is separate from the browser UI.

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chrome new download notifications

You may still click on it to execute the file right away or use the show in folder option to open its location on the system.

During the transfer, you may pause or cancel it just like you could do before, and the “show all downloads” option is also still available if you download more than one file at a time.

downloaded files

The feature is experimental at this point in time which means that it is subject to change. While it is likely that Google will change the old download system in Chrome to the new one in the future, it is not a done deal yet.

To enable the new download status do the following:

  1. Open chrome://flags/#enable-download-notification in the browser. You need to copy and paste the url as Chrome won’t load it when you click on it.
  2. Switch the flag to enabled.
  3. Restart the browser afterwards.

chrome download status

This works in all supported operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac and Chrome OS), and should be available in all versions of Chrome and Chromium as well.

To undo the change, repeat the steps outlined above but set the flag to disabled instead. (via Caschy)


Article Name

How to switch Google Chrome’s download toolbar to notifications


Martin Brinkmann


Find out how to disable the download toolbar in Google Chrome and enable notification-based download information instead.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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