2 ways to monitor the progress of downloads on a Mac

From the Dock, you can quickly check on a file's download progress from either the Launchpad or Downloads folder icon.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
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I am aware that a watched pot never boils, but sometimes I need to know how much time remains on a download. On a Mac, there are two ways to keep an eye on the progress of a download.

1. Launchpad in the Dock

For files being downloaded from the Mac App Store, the easiest way to check their progress is by mousing over the Launchpad icon in the Dock. You'll see a progress bar below the Launchpad icon and above the number of megabytes currently downloaded and the total file size.

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Alternatively, since you already have the Mac App Store open when downloading a file from it, you can also keep an eye on downloads from within its confines. For new apps, you'll need to click through to an app's page. Below the blue Installing button is a progress bar that estimates how many minutes remain before the download is complete. When updating apps, you can see their progress on the Updates tab.

2. Downloads folder in the Dock

For files you download not from the Mac App Store but from the internet, the Launchpad offers no help. If you've dragged your Downloads folder to the Dock, then you can mouse over it to see a progress bar of a file currently being downloaded. Unlike the Launchpad, the Downloads folder doesn't show you the MB count when you mouse over its icon.

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You can also check on a download's progress from the Downloads folder in Finder. Next to a file being downloaded, Finder shows a little clock-dial icon to show the download's progress.

In related news, check out 3 ways to install apps from unidentified developers on MacOS Sierra.