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How to disable the Downloads bar in Chrome

When you download files in Chrome, a bar appears at the bottom of the window. It shows the file that’s downloading and its download progress. You can close this bar by clicking the close button at the right corner. It won’t impact the download. The file will continue to download and you can open the Downloads page in Chrome (Ctrl+J) to view download progress. If the bar bothers you and you don’t want to close it each time you download a file, you can disable the Downloads bar in Chrome with an extension.

Disable the Downloads bar

In order to disable the Downloads bar in Chrome, you need to install the Always Clear Downloads extension. This extension can do two things; it can clear your Downloads list, and it can hide the Downloads bar. If you don’t want the Downloads list to be cleared, you should change its setting first.

To stop the extension from clearing downloads, uncheck the ‘Clear downloads every few seconds’ option. To hide the Downloads bar, enable the ‘Disable download shelf option’.

That’s really all you need to do. The next time you download a file, you will no longer see the downloads bar. The download will start normally, and you will still see the green progress indicator on the Chrome taskbar icon.

If you want the extension to also clear your downloads, you should enable the ‘Clear downloads every few seconds’ option and specify how often the downloads are cleared. By default, the extension clears downloads every ten seconds. This might be too often but you can change it. Unfortunately, you can only specify the time in seconds so if you want the downloads to clear after every 24 hours, you’re going to have to enter 86,400. To clear them weekly, the number gets bigger, 604800.

A while back, there was a more popular extension for hiding the downloads bar but it has since disappeared from the Chrome web store. The reason is likely that Chrome disabled the API the extension used to hide it. Chrome has undergone quite a design change and it’s likely that during the process, the old extension broke. This one works with the latest version of Chrome. There are others like it but they focus on clearing the Downloads list which, again, Chrome doesn’t let you do by default.

The good thing about this extension though is that it doesn’t force you to also clear downloads. You can use just one feature and leave the other unused.

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